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Post-Hurricane Efforts Raise Profile of Mental Disorders
Date:9/25/2008

Hurricanes Gustav, Ike and other disasters have long-reaching affects; 57.7 million Americans experience a mental health disorder in any given year; the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other organizations, including Allsup, are raising awareness during Mental Illness Awareness Week

Belleville, IL (PRWEB) September 25, 2008 -- It is the storm damage that people often don't talk about--mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder that strike in the wake of a catastrophic experience.

Post-trauma mental conditions are one of many mental disorders that affect some 57.7 million Americans in any given year, according to the http://www.nami.org/ [National Alliance on Mental Illness], which is observing Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 5-11, 2008. Organizations, including Allsup, which represents people nationwide for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, are helping to raise awareness about mental illnesses and the help available to people and their families.

Anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and phobias, affect about 40 million people, NAMI reports. One in five veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan (almost 300,000 troops) will experience major depression or PTSD when they return home. Other types of mental disorders also affect millions of people, including 5.7 million with bipolar disorder and 2.4 million who have schizophrenia.

"People living with mental illnesses often are among the most vulnerable in our society. Unfortunately, they also are often overlooked during disasters," said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick, who recently announced the creation of a NAMI Hurricane Relief Fund to help individuals and families affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

NAMI makes a number of resources and support available through its Web site, inc
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