May is "Mental Health Month." Despite the best efforts of those who strive to provide excellent care in the mental health field, we see programs getting cut, decreased funding for needed services and a letter grade of "D" for how mental health care is provided in the United States. (http://www.nami.org/)
Depression affects 15 million adults and one in four people will experience a mental illness at some point in their life. With these facts, I would expect services to be better than they are. One nurse, who works in a psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles and wants to remain anonymous, told me, "Once people leave the hospital there are very few services available to them. They come here for a week or two and go back to their hectic lives and stresses that brought them here in the first place."
Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) has openly talked about her mental illness and Kay Redfield Jamison (professor of psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University) has written extensively on her bipolar disorder. Several other well-noted people have been diagnosed with depression, including Buzz Aldrin, Jim Carrey, Heath Ledger and J.K. Rowling.
The list grows with celebrities who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, yet the stigma is still there. May is also "Better Hearing and Speech Month." I wonder if there is a correlation between the two? Just kidding SLPs.