GREENSBORO, NC -- Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of World Mental Health Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and fighting the stigma associated with it.
Statistics show one in five adults in the U.S. are thought to suffer from mental health issues.
Worldwide, more than 300 million people suffer from depression and more than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders.
Experts say eating well, getting active and staying in touch with family and friends can improve your mental wellbeing.
However, sometimes doing all those things is still not enough.
2 Wants to Know wanted to hear the Triad’s take on mental health.
Reporter Ben Powell spent much of the day Tuesday in Lebauer Park to gather reaction from the community.
We held a sign that read, ‘What does mental health mean to you?’
The question generated a lot of responses including personal stories from people in the park.
“I've dealt with this on a personal level myself. My husband served in the military. He had some issues that happened from that service. Now we have a daily battle that we have to fight,” said Stephanie Henderson-Ford. “Just being able to get up and function every day and be in a good place in your own mind.”
Rob Overman says some of his friends have been impacted by depression and other mental health issues.
“I think removing the stigma is the first thing we need to do. Recognizing that it's a problem that we all share the burden for finding a solution,” said Overman. “It's something that I think everybody has been impacted by.”
Dominique Royal says she’s suffered from depression herself.
“I've gone through depression in and out with things that happen in life. I got the help I needed because I saw it coming,” said Royal. “I saw the changes in my behaviors and the isolation away from my friends and my family.”
Joe Vartanian says more government resources should be dedicated to helping people who suffer from mental health issues.
“We spend so much time and emphasis on physical health, we focus on the medicinal treatment but there are also other therapies involved that we should probably focus on expanding those programs as well,” said Vartanian.
Mental health can be a complicated issue but Dr. Nannette Funderburk, a psychotherapist in Greensboro, says it affects almost everyone.
Funderburk says she's been seeing more patients than usual recently who are stressed out by the recent violence and political discourse nationally.
She says mental health is an issue that needs to be dealt with all year round, not just one day.
“Most of us would never drive our cars without some kind of maintenance work done,” said Funderburk. “But yet we are going to live with these minds we have been blessed with for our entire lives and never check it up? ‘Just say oh it's going to be OK?’ We have a responsibility to make sure that we are OK.”
North Carolina A&T State University was recently awarded a $1.7 million grant to increase the number of professional mental health counselors who serve rural communities in North Carolina.
If you or someone you know suffers from mental health issues, contact a psychiatrist or your family doctor.
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