Mental Illness: Knowing You’re Not Alone

In the face of the two celebrity suicides this year of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef, author, and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain, conversations were reignited about the many causes and faces of brain disorders. The tragedies underscore the disturbing reality of mental illness in America.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a national program available in 49 states in the U.S., acknowledges the prevalence and impact of mental illness. Navigating life with a mental health diagnosis can be tough, but it can be even more devastating for the families and caregivers dealing with their loved ones. Shame, blame, and secrecy are often encouraged by the stigma attached to mental illness and can create a challenge for getting the support they so desperately need.  

Know that you are not alone. There is support!   

NAMI will be offering free 12-session, evidence-based Family to Family classes starting January 23, on consecutive Wednesdays, 6-8:30 p.m., in Calabasas. Listed in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), means these programs have been tested and we know they work.



  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.


“Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things. I have learned about many resources I never knew existed.”

“I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there was to know about the mental health system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong! Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none.”


To register for this free course, contact Lynn at (310) 455-0441; (818) 458-9610; or


By Lynn Conrad


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