According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization reported that mental disorders comprise 4 of the top 5 sources of premature death and disability in 15 – 44 year olds in the Western world. Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating forms of mental illness. Of those who suffer, only a few receive the treatment they so desperately need. Christopher Coles, my brother, is one of those few.
I am so pleased that our father, who passed away 2 days ago, lived to see Chris enjoy being gainfully employed and living a full, independent and productive life.
Chris receives counseling and medication regularly, and battles daily to maintain his wellness. He lives with the grace and dignity he inherited from our dad. You can enjoy a bit more of Chris' story in a local newspaper that was published today.
Our father would be — no, is — proud.
If you or someone you love suffers with mental illness in shame and silence, help is available. A good place to start is NIMH's resources page.