“TO BE THE VOICE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SEEKING HOPE AND WELLNESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY. TO ELIMINATE STIGMA FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.”
The Mental Health Advisory Board serves as a strong support system that promotes evidence based knowledge about mental health and illness, with the purpose of removing the stigma associated with mental illness. MHAB works to assist in finding access to Mental Health service to individuals of all ages that enables them to successfully live, work and participate in their communities. MHAB works in building a support structure that partner with state agencies, individuals, families and providers in the community. The MHAB establishes standards to assist safely and confidentially and to ensure effective and culturally competent support for care, respect and recognition for self-determination. We encourage responsible and healthy lifestyle practices, protect human rights, and support mental health training to promote recovery.
The Mental Health Advisory Board’s members comprise a voluntary citizen board which believes that:
1. Mind and body, individual and community are interconnected. In the same way that body and mind affect each other, so every individual affects the community and is affected by the community. This means that interventions that target the whole (holistic approaches) are more effective than interventions that address only one part (Faulkner, 2009).
2. Mental disease and mental health exist in a continuum; they are affected by brain chemistry, external circumstances and lifespan development. An estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older - about one in four adults - experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. One in 10 children have a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (University of Washington School of Social Work, 2013). Mental Illness could possibly occur with anyone just like cancer, heart disease, or any other illness.
3. Mental disorders are disabling, but they can be prevented and treated. Therefore it is important and urgent to prevent and treat mental disorders and to promote mental health and recovery in our community.
4. We agree with the Surgeon General’s statement: “A variety of treatments of well-documented efficacy exist for the array of clearly defined mental and behavioral disorders that occur across the life span. Every person should be encouraged to seek help when questions arise about mental health, just as each person is encouraged to seek help when questions arise about health” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999, p.3).
5. One of the most important obstacles for the prevention and treatment of mental illness is lack of information which breeds the stigma that impacts mental health by preventing people from searching for help, and by favoring public attitudes about mental illness which affect willingness to support mental health initiatives. Therefore it is especially important to promote knowledge and to reduce stigma.