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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One infour American adults live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition. And more people die from suicide in the United States than from traffic accidents or homicides.

May is Mental Health Month, an initiative to help increase the number of people who will talk to their doctor or a mental health professional about their concern.

Mental illness is a real and treatable set of conditions that includes major depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia, among dozens of others.

"Unfortunately itcontinues to be a very big problem in Arkansas," says Doug Stadter with theMental Health Council of Arkansas(MHCA). "And a big piece of that is the stigma that's associated with mental illness so Mental Health Awareness Month is our time to try to increase awareness as well as reduce that stigma."

With over 50 psychiatrists and 2,000 health care professionals, participating members of the MHCA provide comprehensive services specially designed to meet the individual behavioral healthcare needs of Arkansas' citizens.

In partnership with theDivision of Behavioral Health Service, the MHCA has set asideFriday, May 11 as Mental Health Day. Governor Beebe will kick off the event at the State Capitol.

"The message being, 'I'm not my diagnosis. I am a person with mental illness but that's who I am' " says Executive Director Pam Christie.

(Mental Health Council of Arkansas)

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