Consider that, statistically speaking, you are one of those people that just shook hands with someone who will likely experience a mental illness at some point in your lifetime.

The last decade has marked a huge shift in the way we think and talk about mental health as a society. Covid-19 has further highlighted the need to proactively nurture it.

Forty-three point eight million adults experience mental illness every year. That's a high prevalence of mental Illness. Yet why is it something we're still afraid to talk about?

Depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide. Suicide rates continue to climb among adults, adolescents, and even children. Every year we see the loss of celebrities and prominent figures to suicide. ,The opioid crisis continues to devastate our communities, costing over 100 billion dollars annually.

We go to galas, golf tournaments, 5K’s, fundraisers and more for heart disease, cancer, and many other illnesses. While all of these are important, we often forget or don't realize that mental illness is among the number one cause of disability in our country. Mental Illness cost nearly $200 billion in lost wages annually.

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In this episode of "Wisdom with Charlie Perkins," I hope to shine an understanding light on the dark "stigma" of mental health. If we as a community, as a society, as individuals, can start to see people with mental illness as people rather than their diagnosis, we can take that first step to breaking that cycle. We will also start to see that people with mental illness aren't any different than you and me. The first step is having that courageous conversation.

About Charlie Perkins

Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.