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viewpoint

Offer support for those with mental illness

| Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thank you for covering National Mental Health Awareness Week going on this week, Oct. 5- 10. I am glad that amidst so many awareness week possibilities, this important event is being highlighted as Irish State of Mind Week.

As someone who has experienced a major period of depression and knows first hand how debilitating it can be, as well as what a difference receiving the proper treatment can be, I am glad that this week is giving the Notre Dame community the opportunity to engage in becoming more aware of and better understanding mental health issues. Perhaps even more importantly, I am hopeful that this week can serve as an opportunity for those suffering from mental health issues to come forward, share their stories with others and receive the proper support and encouragement they deserve.

It is time that people stopped being afraid. It is time that people stopped experiencing being alone and abandoned, and it is time for society to progress from just words and awareness to concrete, positive action. Allow those who want to share their stories during the course of this week to do so without fear of intimidation or labeling. Let those who need help find the care, love and support they truly need.

I have spent time with people struggling with depression, anxiety and a real inability to face their lives with confidence. And I know how much people in this community at Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, Holy Cross and in the greater South Bend area need this hope that all is not lost, and they need to know that we are a truly caring community.

Maybe as a sign of action every member of our community could find a way to actively seek out and support at least one person who is going through depression, anxiety, fear and/or self- loathing. They are all around us. We only need to look.

Rev. David Kashangaki, C.S.C.

parochial vicar

St. Patrick South Bend

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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