MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Often times people who are dealing with mental health issues don’t seek help because of stigma attached to getting treatment.

An estimated 20 to 25 percent of Americans have some sort of mental illness. The National Alliance for Mental Illness in Minnesota has a list of numbers to call for help in every county.

Adam Lanza, the man who shot and killed 26 school administrators and students before killing himself, suffered from Asperger’s, a form of autism.

The “Make It Ok” campaign in Minnesota is urging those with mental illness to seek the necessary help and treatment.

More than a week ago, we told you about the grand opening of the new mental health building at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. We spoke with a psychiatrist there who said that most patients live with the symptoms of a mental illness for 10 years before seeking treatment.

“Asking for help does not mean that you are going to be, that they are going to want you to take medications or that you are going to have to go into the hospital,” said Dr. John Kuzma. “Very often it is working with a counselor, working with someone you can openly discuss what is going on. One of the things is that people are more open to talking to someone who they do not have personal relationship with, who they are able to be more open with, without feeling judged.”

Kuzma is the medical director of psychiatry at Regions Hospital, and he said they have a new anti-stigma campaign there called “Make It OK.” It’s designed to encourage people to talk more openly about mental illness and ask for help.


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