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Who Am I Helping If I Donate My Car?

Your May car donation gives a voice to mental health during Mental Health Month

Stigma is arguably the deadliest killer.

Think of five people in your life, including yourself. At least one of the five is struggling with a mental health condition. Yet, often, deep-rooted fear keeps them from seeking help.

Whether it’s anxiety over your notable reputation going south or concern that a diagnosis could sink you further into poverty, stigma surrounding mental health knows no bounds.

And neither do mental health issues. All sexes, socioeconomic levels, races, sexual orientations, neighborhoods, education levels, job skills and religions can experience mental illness. No one is immune.

Fortunately, Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio has local services to support our neighbors in need. Read on to learn more about mental health disorders, and how clicking “donate my car” can help individuals live life to the fullest and end stigma in our community.

Connecting the untreated with treatment

Lack of financial resources. Fear of judgment. Ignorance. With the stigma that’s been tied to mental health for centuries, many who struggle do so in silence. But, a silent struggle can mean more room for continued, and potentially worsening, mental health issues. Consequences can include everything from national fiscal impacts to suicide.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) revealed that in 2010, about 8 million Americans suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, or nearly 3.3 percent of the US population. Of these, about 40 percent of the individuals with schizophrenia and 51 percent of those with bipolar are untreated in any given year.

Who is most influenced by stigma?

  • Youth
  • Men
  • Minorities
  • Veterans and military personnel
  • Those in the medical/health field

What happens when individuals go without remedy?

  • People with untreated mental health conditions make up about 200,000 individuals of the estimated 600,000 homeless population.
  • About 26 percent of homeless adults living in shelters have a serious mental illness and about 46 percent live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
  • More than 130,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, with 45 percent of them living with a mental illness.
  • Mental health issues are the leading cause of disability in the United States for ages 15-44.

Like cancer, heart disease or diabetes, it is critical to identify and address mental health concerns early. That can only occur if we all take responsibility to educate ourselves on the warning signs and support others who may be worried about symptoms.

What are the warning signs?

While each condition has its own rap sheet of symptoms, a few overarching symptoms for both adolescents and adults include:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Thoughts of suicide

How can I help?

  • Educate yourself and your networks
  • Advocate for public policy change
  • Start the conversation by wearing green, the cause color for mental health awareness
  • Volunteer with a nonprofit working to address mental health
  • Be a friend

How else can I help? In May and every day, choose “donate my car”

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio firmly holds that mental health is an essential part of every person's health and wellbeing. Not only must we raise awareness and support our neighbors during May’s Mental Health Month, but we can show our care by reaching individuals in need with our donations all year long.

Donate your vehicle, from cars and motorcycles to tractors and ATVs, to Volunteers of America Greater Ohio.

We can arrange free same-day towing, and we’ll take your vehicle even if it’s not running. You might even end up getting more for your vehicle as a tax-deductible donation than you would selling it yourself.