A Plea for More Mental Health Awareness

October 21, 2010 Angela McClanahan
I have a confession to make:
I get jealous of charitable causes that get more attention than mental-health-related organizations.
Does that make me a bad person?

How About A Mental Health Walk-a-Thon?


My office makes regular donations to various charitable organizations. The current favorite (because it's October) is breast cancer awareness. Trust me when I say, they are making it near impossible for any employee to be unaware of breast cancer. They're sponsoring a team in a local walk-a-thon, and there's a bake sale on Friday; signs for both are plastered on every door and stairwell.

And I can't help but grumble to myself every time I see one.

I know it's petty, and my response--completely ignoring the pleas for donations--is passive-aggressive at best (and downright childish at worst). I can't help it.

Why Are Psychiatric Disorders in Children Still in Different Category?

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge the need for cancer research, or HIV/AIDS research, or autism research, or any like cause. I certainly feel for all those affected by those ailments and others, particularly those who benefit from charitable organizations (such as those who provide funding for indigent patients). I'm just saying I'd like to see more attention focused on those ailments that aren't as well-recognized. I'm pretty sure we're all aware of breast cancer and autism, while there are still people who think psychiatric disorders in children are the figment of an over-active parental imagination and an over-zealous pharmaceuticals industry.

dipphoto5I suppose I could take a less passive-aggressive (read: petty) approach and suggest the charities committee (yes, there is one) set aside a week's or month's worth of funding for a mental health-related cause. Or, even better, one specifically geared toward children. Would I risk "outing" myself if I did? Perhaps. Is that a risk I'm willing to take? I'm not sure. Will I be a hypocrite if I don't? Probably.

I wonder if there's an anonymous method of making suggestions to the committee. I should find out.

APA Reference
McClanahan, A. (2010, October 21). A Plea for More Mental Health Awareness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Angela McClanahan

Beth Meyer
October, 22 2010 at 5:18 pm

Is there a NAMI walk where you live? Ours is very large and well-attended and gets local news coverage. Still, the rest of the year, responses are largely the rolling the eyes at my son at Target variety. I agree that it is because so many people just don't think it's real - they don't 'believe' in mental illness, or if they do, they don't believe it in children.

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