(UNEDITED) Let me begin by saying my father died of cancer a few months ago. Cancer is a horrible disease. We continuously see advertisements for the treatment and prevention of all types of cancer. Great institutions exist to research the cure for cancer. That is wonderful and I support these institutions. How many of you know that May is National Mental Health Month? While we see marches regarding cancer and survivors of cancer speaking up, the mentally ill continue to have no voice. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, mental illness affects one in five American families. Mental illness accounts for 25% of all disability. By comparison, heart disease and cancer account for 5% and 3% respectively (World Health Organization). However, a recent study revealed that less than 40% of Americans with serious mental illness receive stable treatment (Home Services Research).
I long for the day when mental illness will cease to be a taboo subject as cancer once was. Mental illness destroys lives, and, unfortunately, can be as terminal as cancer. I hope readers will support increased mental health funding and advocate for the mentally ill. As I watch my loved one suffer, I certainly am.
Salt Lake City