Mental illness is a prevalent and widespread issue that affects people of all ages, backgrounds and socioeconomic status. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in five adults in the United States (equivalent to 51.5 million people) experiences mental illness each year. Mental illness can manifest in various forms, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and substance use disorders.

Despite the high prevalence of mental illness, there is still a significant stigma surrounding mental health issues that can prevent individuals from seeking help. Mental Health Awareness Month aims to break down these stigmas and promote education and awareness surrounding mental health issues.

How to Increase Mental Health Awareness

One way to increase mental health awareness is through education and understanding of the statistics surrounding mental illness. For example, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, with an estimated 17.3 million adults experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Anxiety disorders are also prevalent, with an estimated 31.1% of adults experiencing an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.

By speaking out on mental health issues and normalizing the need to seek treatment, you can raise awareness and break the stigma. Be vocal to your family, friends and colleagues. Reach out and check in frequently – let those you care about know that they have your support and that it is okay to seek mental health support. In addition, get involved! Volunteer with local mental health non-profits, write to your legislators and ask them to take action on mental health issues and be a part of the ongoing conversation around mental health for all.

Utilize Your Local Resources

Community-based resources are essential for individuals and families impacted by mental illness. These resources can include support groups, therapy services, crisis hotlines and educational programs. NAMI and other organizations offer a range of resources and programs to support individuals and families affected by mental illness at no cost. In addition, the 988 crisis line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.

We are proud to offer a full continuum of care beginning with a no-cost assessment. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality mental health care, and lead with compassion and empathy as we help our patients determine the best treatment option for them. Our services allow patients the opportunity to identify coping skills, safety plans and enter into long lasting recovery that is individualized to them and their circumstances.