Mental Illness Awareness Week begins Oct. 4


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Sunday marks the first day of Mental Illness Awareness Week, so 18 News spoke to a local psychiatrist on how to promote positive mental health.

Every year millions of Americans are faced with living with a mental health condition, but the stigma behind the illness is still very real according to Dr. Tayo Obatusin, chief of psychiatry at Arnot Health.

The doctor said the stigma is a worldwide issue, with other countries not even believing mental illnesses exist.

He gives advice on the first steps to overcoming mental illnesses.

“Simple way to cope with mental illness is first to talk about it,” said Obatusin. “If a patient is depressed, you have symptoms of isolating yourself, not taking care of yourself, feeling hopeless or worthless. The first step is to reach out to your psychiatrist.”

There are numerous ways to see if someone would have a mental illness and one easy way would be a quick search on the Internet for symptoms. He advises talking to a professional to help with mental health conditions.

Dr. Obatusin said mental illnesses can be genetically inherited such as schizophrenia. However, some may also follow trauma such as a bad car accident, bullying or a change in social status.

Regardless, the most important thing the doctor emphasizes is that like many other illnesses, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, mental health conditions are treatable. Therefore, it’s important to take them just as seriously.


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