Since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates across the country have observed May as Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.
Here are some data points to help understand the scope of mental health:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.
- 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
Want to learn more? Listen to the podcasts sponsored by the American Hospital Association to learn about Addressing the Needs of Behavioral Health, how Collaboration can be the Solution, and Extending the Reach of Treatment thru Peer Support Specialists.
Additionally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is featuring personal stories from real people experiencing mental health conditions. By reading about lived experience, the aim is to make people feel less alone in their mental health journeys and increase awareness about mental illness.
People often do not get the mental health services they need because they do not know where to start. Talk to your primary care doctor or another health professional about mental health problems. Ask them to connect you with the right mental health services. If you do not have a health professional who is able to assist you, there are many free resources available to find help for yourself, your friends, your family.
National Council for Mental Wellbeing – Mental Health Month 2021
American Hospital Association – Tidelands Health Series
National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mental Health Awareness Month