With Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, or any other physical illness, we try to identify it, and start treatment as soon as possible. We call these stages.

What Are Stages?


Im sure you have heard this before, "He has stage 1 Cancer". "She has Stage 4 Alzheimers". But what in the world are Stages? Stages are just progressions of any decease. To put in simply, it just means how bad it is.

Stage 1 is when the disease or issue is just starting out and just trying to take hold. It is also known as early stage, or pre stage. This is where we want to catch the Cancer, Diabetes, or whatever the physical issue is.

In this stage, we have the best chance of being able to cure it. It would be like that old saying of Heading something off at the pass. This saying came out of the 1800's and early 1900's in the old west where there were bank robbers and such.

The bad guys would ride out of town and through a mountain pass. Once the bad guys got through this pass, there was a much less chance of catching them, so they were probably gone. !

So the good guys (The law and posse) would ride off and try to catch these bad guys before they got to the mountain pass and escaped. So thus the saying:

 "We are going to head them off at the pass"

Heading off Physical issues off at the pass


Stage 1 then is like trying to head the Disease off at the pass. Once the Disease, gets past the pass, the chances of catching it and curing it go down.

Each phase, or stage, is a progression of the disease. The higher the number of the sage, the more unlikely it is that the disease can be caught and cured.

It can take 10 years, or more for a disease, or physical illness, to progress from stage 1 to stage 4. (Every illness is different. Some take longer to progress and some take less, so 10 years is just an example)

If you catch the physical illness at the beginning of this 10 year period, there is a much higher chance that it can be caught and cured before it gets to the later part of the 10 year stretch,.

Often by the time the illness has reached the end of this 10 year stretch, it is too late and  there is nothing that can be done. The bad guys have got through the mountain pass and are gone!!

(There is always hope and anything is possible. Even if the illness has reached stage 4 (The end of the 10 year stretch), it is possible to catch and cure the illness)

Lets Head Mental Illness off at the pass


The idea  behind B4Stage4 is that just like physical illnesses, we need to identify mental illness before it reaches stage 4. 

The earlier we identify mental illness, the better chance we have of being able to cure it.

There is always hope and anything can happen, but once a mental illness is dug in and well established, it becomes much harder to treat.

Let's start early to catch possible symptoms of Mental Illness before they reach stage 4 !!


Focusing on B4Stage4 is the answer. Here are five ways you can help:

  • Take a confidential mental health screening, and encourage family and friends to do so, too.
  • Keep up to date on our mental health awareness campaigns, like May is Mental Health Month
  • Join our Advocacy Network and add your voice to those who want policy and programmatic investments in earlier identification and intervention “Before Stage 4."
  • Ask organizations, political leaders, and advocates to endorse our B4Stage4 campaign.
  • Help us to engage the online community in #B4Stage4 thinking. Support #B4Stage4 campaign on Twitter and Facebook.


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