Local Groups Reach Out to Victims of Mental Illness - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Groups Reach Out to Victims of Mental Illness

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Experts say one in five people has some kind of mental illness, and with job losses, a poor economy, and veterans coming home from war, some feel more services are needed.

The World Health Organization predicts by 2020, major depressive disorders will be the leading cause of disability among women and children.

The Greater Columbia Behavioral Health Organization brought support groups from all over the area to show people the services available for those suffering with mental disorders.

Experts say mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders and a person needs more than just "will power" to be healed.

"The stigma of mental health doesn't have to prevent them from getting services and there's no shame that should be connected with their mental health services," said Cindy Adams with the Greater Columbia Behavioral Health Organization.

Increased levels of stress, the loss of a job or debt are just a few of the things that can trigger depression or mental illness.

Some mental health organizations are experiencing budget cuts from the state, resulting in loss of jobs, and canceled programs.