CNMI Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation

Photo: Jacqueline Hernandez

This May 2007, like every May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the importance of mental wellness for all. The photo above shows government entities and officials along with mental health providers and consumers from throughout Saipan.

I’m reproducing verbatim of the best part of the proclamation because I think it captures the ideals of a good mental health system for the CNMI.

Mental health is an important part of our everyday lives. Mental illness can affect individuals regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, language, or place of residence. The functional impairments associated with mental illness can significantly limit or interfere with major life activities, such as basic living skills, instrumental living skills, as well as social, family, and vocational activities. Mental illness not only affects the actual consumers of mental health services, but also their family members, friends, and loved ones.

Despite all this, mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible. The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “There’s Hope, There’s Help.” This simple idea shows that even the smallest effort can make a big difference. We must focus inward on utilizing local resources and island way of life to transform how the CNMI addresses mental health. Educational and awareness activities must be increased in order to enhance our understanding of mental health and address the stigma and negative attitudes commonly associated with mental illness. Consumers and family members must continue to take an active role in making mental health services system more responsible. Collaborative ties must be strengthened between government agencies, private organizations, consumers, family members, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the effective coordination of services and state resources. Hope lies within these smallest of efforts. It is up to us, as a community, to take the initiative and help each other shape our mental health services system into one that best serves the people of the CNMI.

Posted bySteve Nguyen at 4/25/2007 11:48:00 PM  


Post a Comment