Written by Anita Levesque

Next week, October 5-11, 2014, is Mental Illness Awareness Week.

I know this week is important, but has it REALLY been given the attention it deserves in the past? I don’t think so.

When I heard the news of Robin Williams and saw the media attention, days and weeks following, it made me sad. Why does it always take the death of a celebrity to build the awareness of mental illness? Mental illness should be a DAILY awareness, not just when something unimaginable occurs.

How am I contributing? I decided to create this website, http://mentalillness-doyouknow.com .
If you’re experiencing mental illness yourself or are a loved one living with someone with mental illness, you know how frustrating it can be doing research on the internet, whether it be finding signs and symptoms of depression to coping strategies for anxiety. What you’ll find are website containing articles written by doctors and medical professionals. What about finding resources from actual people who are living with mental illness? Have you been able to find them, do you know how to find these personal stories? This is where my website will be advantageous, it already has been. My research involves searching every mental illness people live with and their stories; stating what their mental illness is, any treatment they’ve tried; what worked and what didn’t, their coping strategies and how they live with their mental illness now. Are you going to find any of this information from any doctor or medical professional? Not likely, unless they have actually lived with mental illness.

I realize researching is overwhelming; this is why I’ve created this website.

What can YOU do to enhance mental illness awareness?
1/ post a message or share articles on your social media in support of those living with mental illness
2/ start a conversation about mental illness with an open mind and a loving heart

With all our voices sharing, we, as a group, WILL make a difference!!!

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