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Friday, August 29, 2014

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Silver Hill, library shine spotlight on mental illness

Published 10:28 am, Sunday, May 4, 2014
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Silver Hill Hospital and the New Canaan Library are joining together to observe Mental Health Month and provide education about mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder.

"It's time to make a difference through dialogue about mental illness throughout our community," Sigurd Ackerman, M.D., president and medical director of Silver Hill Hospital, said. "Mental illness does not discriminate -- it strikes one in four adults and one in five teenagers. Fortunately recovery is possible."

Unfortunately, there are long delays -- sometimes decades -- between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help. Less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment.

"Everyone should know about the nature of mental illness and the symptoms of different conditions," said Ackerman.

Information about mental illnesses, reading lists and links to mental health websites will be available at the New Canaan Library for the month of May.

Silver Hill Hospital's new quarterly e-newsletter, Peace of Mind, is also available. The newsletter will provide information about mental health, tips for practicing mindfulness and healthy seasonal recipes.

"The U.S. surgeon general has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it," Laurie Iffland, head of reference services at New Canaan Library, said. "That's why Mental Health Month is so important. We want people to understand mental illness and join in conversations throughout our community. The library provides a platform for learning and conversation. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the support they need."