A year ago you didn’t find people talking so freely about their mental illness. I was extremely excited to find this article in our local newspaper. I hope it continues, it’s the only way we really make progress.

Charleston, SC – Most of us take our mental health for granted since it’s a basic part of who we are. But mental health is a major aspect of everyone’s life that needs to be protected. “I told everybody I do not have a mental illness, I have a brain tumor. For the first 2 years I was diagnosed, I convinced everybody I did not have bipolar.” Donna Lynch believed the negative stigma that exists about mental illness…that she would be seen as crazy. “Most of the time when we hear about mental illness something horrific has happened. A person with mental illness goes crazy Virginia Tech.” But Donna notes that there are dozens of mental illnesses, the majority of which do not cause a person to become violent. “Eating disorders, autism, alzhemiers, dementia anything that’s a chemical imbalance and that’s what mental illness is a chemical imbalance.” Mental illness is a disease that is highly treatable with medications and therapy. Donna was told she would never be able to work. Now she’s a peer support specialist at the Berkeley Community Mental Health Center helping patients with recovery skills. The Berkeley Community Mental Health Center serves up to 1800 patients with a variety of mental illness. Donna says they are helping these patients live successful lives in spite of their disease. Donna says she’s living proof. “I literally am a success story from the center and I’m not the only one I know people I’ve seen come there that I’ve literally seen their lives turn around.” And changing lives is the goal of Mental health awareness month which is this month to promote mental wellness.

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