Mental Health Issues: An Illness, not a Choice

This month, May, is Mental Health Awareness Month. Strive, and our sister company Veteran & First Responder Healthcare, are dedicating our Facebook, blogs and other social media channels to highlight some of the major issues is Mental Health Awareness. While at Strive our focus is on treating substance use, overwhelmingly trauma and its resulting mental health issues are at the root of the disease. And they are–both mental health issues and Substance Use Disorder (SUD), a disease and not a choice.

Today we focus on the need to give support to people with mental health issues: the need for family, friends and community to reach out to support what some have called the “Invisible Illness.” Invisible because too often, mental health issues are seen as the fault of the individuals themselves, a kind of personality disorder or reaction to poor parenting, or some other weakness of will. The fact is, mental health issues are a biological disease, like a serious physical disease–pneumonia, let’s say or cancer. Mental health illness deserves all the support, attention, help…and kindness…as we would almost naturally extend to someone with a serious physical condition.

In the Ted Talk video included here, college student Max Silverman describes his brother’s sometimes thankless, but ultimately successful struggle with mental illness, and forcefully calls for removing the stigma too often surrounding those so victimized. Silverman makes a compelling and moving case: mental illness is not a choice and deserves all our support.

We urge readers to follow our Facebook posts on this critical subject for more on the problem and what you can do about it.