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Awareness of mental health not restricted to one month

Although May’s almost over, mental health awareness should be taking place every day of the year.

That’s the message from Chip Coffey, director of therapy services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center. “In Arizona, we have about 56-thousand people with schizophrenia,” he said. “and about 113-thousand people that would be diagnosable with severe bipolar disorder.”

Coffey says most mental illnesses are treatable with the right combinations of therapy and medicine. However, waiting until it “blows over” or someone “gets over it” will not help.

Mental illness, especially depression, manifests differently in women and men. Coffey says men are more likely to be aggressive and have unusual outbursts of anger; women are more likely to retreat into themselves.

For help in coping with a mental illness, or helping someone you know, visit Mental Health America.

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