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Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day 2012.

It is a day set aside, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) states on their site, which…

…raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year the theme for the day is “Depression: A Global Crisis. 1

But how do you see Mental Health and Mental Illness?

Are you scared of it?  Are you confused by it?  Are you embarrassed by it?  Concerned by it?  Repelled by it?  Perhaps like some you think it is a bit of a joke?

All of these reactions are normal but are they healthy or helpful?

Depression is just one mental illness and it affects more people than you would imagine. The World Health Organization (WHO) states…

Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment. 1

As I said, Depression is but one kind of mental illness and it affects so many people the world over.  But there are many other mental illnesses.  I myself am diagnosed with; Paranoid Schizophrenia, MPD/DID, Bipolar Disorder and Aspergers.

But I wonder, when it comes to Mental Illness and Mental Health, what is it that you think? How do you think about it?  What do you see when you see or read something about Mental Illness or Mental Health?

When you see some one who is obviously suffering from some form of mental illness, what do you really see?  The person or their illness and how it make them act or behave?

If you have never really thought about your attitude towards mental health, then I invite you to watch these two little videos and having done so to do spend a little time rethinking your attitude towards mental health and mental illness now…

These are two videos representing just two real-life experiences of the same illness.

It is worrying and understandably can cause some hesitation and nervousness in those who see this kind of reaction to the illness.

But I ask you… What do think it is like for those of us who suffer this?  Those of us for whom, when the effects of this illness subside for a little while and we have face the realization of what we have done to others and ourselves?

Mental illness and Mental Health is very real and very important, but unless we can look beyond the behaviour and see the person, trapped in that behavior we will never fully understand Mental Health and never find true comprehensive solutions.