According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults are affected by mental health conditions. Mental Health Awareness Month helps raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health conditions, reduce the stigma associated with them, and allow people to find and seek proper treatment sooner.
What Is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Mental Health Awareness Month is held every May, and 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the holiday. Mental Health Awareness month was created by Mental Health America in 1949 to help spread the message that everyone — even those who don’t struggle personally — should care about mental health awareness. Simply starting a conversation could save a life.
Mental Illness Statistics
Each year, approximately 46.6 million people experience mental illness — which amounts to nearly 1 in 5 Americans. About 1 in 25 experience a serious mental illness that significantly interferes with major life activities including work or social life. Common mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, eating, personality, mood, obsessive-compulsive disorders and stress-related disorders.
Mental illness is fairly prevalent among children and teens. It’s estimated that more than 1 in 5 (21.4%) youth between the ages of 13 and 18 will experience a severe mental disorder at some point.
In many cases, mental illness co-occurs with addiction. There are approximately 20.2 million adults in the United States who suffer from substance use disorder. Of those 20.2 million, 10.2 million have co-occurring mental illnesses, meaning more than half (50.5%) struggle with bost substance abuse and mental illness.
How You Can Get Involved
Increasing mental health awareness is key to a better future. Here are some ways you can get involved.
Raise awareness by:
- Sharing informative articles about Mental Health Awareness Month on social media
- Showing your support by changing your profile picture and cover photo with Mental Health Awareness banners
- Using hashtags to support Mental Health Awareness Month campaigns
- If you’re comfortable, sharing your own story to help reduce shame and stigma
- Showing your support for people who open up about their struggles with mental health
Reduce the stigma by:
- Having open and honest conversations about mental health with the people around you
- Checking in on your friends and family
- Sharing what you do to help maintain good mental health
- Showing someone there is more to them than their mental illness and that they are not alone
- Encouraging others to help end mental illness stigma
- Taking on advocacy issues
- Attend a National Alliance of Mental Health walk
By increasing awareness and reducing mental health stigma, we can help create a brighter future, where people know how to prevent mental illness, treat mental illness, and feel comfortable asking for help and seeking treatment for their mental health. If you or someone you know is living with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorder, The Recovery Village is here to help. To learn more about their comprehensive treatment and facility locations, call today to talk to a representative.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Mental Health By The Numbers.” Accessed May 24th, 2019.
Mental Health America. “Programs: Mental Health Month.” Accessed May 24th, 2019.
Callucci, Nicole. “Instagram co-launches a mental health awareness campaign to help people find support.” Mashable, May 2019. Accessed May 24th, 2019.