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Understanding mental illness

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Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series on mental illness. The second part will run August 27.

Mental illness can strike anyone. Most people believe that mental disorders are rare and “happen to someone else.” In fact, mental disorders are common and widespread.

If you think that someone you love has a mental illness, you are not alone. According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), an estimated 54 million Americans have some form of mental disorder in a given year. These disorders are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

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