7 Ways 2015 Was Defined By Mental Health

For the nearly 44 million Americans who experience mental illness in a given year, 2015 could be regarded as a source of solace. This was the year that celebrities spoke up, research improved and more people started prioritizing their mental well-being.

“We have made great strides in recent years in understanding illnesses that affect the most complex organ in our body: the brain,” Gregory Dalack, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, told The Huffington Post.

“My hope for mental health is that we are able to further erode the stigma associated with mental illness, help individuals who suffer realize that they are not alone and help them understand that treatment works,” he said.

Below are just a few ways 2015 changed the landscape for how we treat mental illness:

The Great

Artists taught us what it physically feels like to suffer from mental illness.

This year we’ve seen a slew of talented singers, illustrators, photographers and others create art as a means to convey the realities of mental illness.

One of those artists Katie Crawford, a photographer who has experienced anxiety and depression for most of her life, created a stunning series of self-portraits that captured what her disorders feel like.

I want people that suffer from [anxiety] to be able to use these images as a reference if they need it,” she told HuffPost earlier this year. “There’s a misconception that anxious people are antisocial, short-fused or overdramatic. But they’re most likely processing everything around them so intensely that they can’t handle a lot of questions, people or heavy information all at once. And I think certain images express that. Anxiety is when you feel everything.”

We learned how to more effectively screen and treat mental illness.

Multiple studies surfaced this year suggesting surprising physical and environmental contributors —> Read More