It’s hard to imagine how, in a world so connected, so many can feel so alone. But that’s the case for millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Arkansans who are suffering in silence with a mental health condition. Upwards of 150,000 Arkansans live with a serious mental condition, and only about 50 percent of them receive treatment.
And that’s why it’s so important we elevate the conversation on mental health, shining a light into the shadows of what was once such a stigmatized matter.
When suffering from a mental illness, it can be easy to feel isolated. But for those living secret lives marked by anxiety, depression, PTSD or any other debilitating conditions, you are not alone. There’s no shame in reaching out for help. Through conversation and education, we can shatter the stigma and bring people in need out of the darkness.
Regardless of who you are and what burdens you’re bearing, there’s someone to help you carry the load – big or small – as long as you’re willing to share it.
Whether you’re an adult struggling with thoughts of self-harm or a student wrestling with addiction, know this: your life has value. There may be dark days, but there are bright ones ahead if you’re willing to start that journey to help, happiness and health. No one is too far gone. And you don’t have to make it alone.
The book you’re holding in your hands was a labor of love. In these pages, you’ll find stories of strength and survival. Stories of redemption. Stories of understanding. Stories that, perhaps, you may be able to relate to, proof that you don’t have to suffer alone. Some of the stories may be difficult to read, as they touch on such sensitive subjects that affect so many. But we’re so grateful to each and every individual who was willing to tell their story in hopes that it might help another. If even one person benefits from this publication, all the work will have been well worth it.
Inside the pages of Arkansas’ Mental Health Guide, you’ll also find resources that could prove beneficial to someone in need. If that person is you, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.