Your Life: Mental illness should not 'lurk in the shadows'

Charlotte Lankard: Ninety percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable, treatable mental disorder. Even though it is a biological brain disorder, mental illness often lurks in the dark as something to be ashamed of.
CHARLOTTE LANKARD clankard@opubco.com Published: October 1, 2012
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Ninety percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable, treatable mental disorder.

Mental illnesses affect one in five families. It cannot be overcome through “will power” and is not related to a person's character or intelligence.

Helen Coffey lives with regrets and she will no longer be silent. She has written “Don't Let Anyone Know” because she is committed to advocating for better attitudes toward mental health, more accessible treatment and better education and support for family members.

She says, “A place to begin is in a NAMI Family Support Group.” The website for the Oklahoma chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness is www.namiok.org.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at clankard@opubco.com.