Mental Health Awareness Month
May has been recognized in the United States as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. The goal of Mental Health Month is to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness by raising awareness of mental health conditions and those who have them.
Each year, Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness join forces with large organizations, small businesses, communities and individuals to achieve this goal, and we invite you to join the cause! Together, we can help raise awareness of mental health conditions, fight the stigma surrounding mental health, provide support for those who are struggling, and share resources to help educate the public on not only noticing the symptoms but how to get help.
Mental Health in America
Mental Health America (MHA) recently released The State Of Mental Health In America Report that has been updated for 2022. Below are some key highlights:
- 19.86% of adults have experienced a mental illness, equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans.
- Over half of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 27 million adults in the U.S. who are going untreated.
- 15.08% of youth experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, a 1.24% increase from last year’s dataset.
- Over 60% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.
- 7.74% of U.S. adults and 4.08% of youth had a substance use disorder in the past year. Substance use increased 0.07% for adults and 0.25% for youth over last year’s report.
- Anxiety disorders remain the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 19% of the adult population each year.
The above statistics make it clear that, even though the COVID-19 pandemic is easing up, we are still very much in a mental health crisis. If we work together, though, we can realize a shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives. If you are an individual that would like to get involved, here are some ideas:
- You can visit MHAscreening.org and take a mental health screening. Afterward, you can share that you “took a checkup from the neck up,” and you can encourage others to do the same.
- Share information within your community. Ask wellness-oriented places like your local gym, yoga studio, or health food store to share digital resources available from the MHA Toolkit. You can also share these resources with friends and family members.
- Share your mental health story on social media or with friends and family. Sharing the challenges you endured and the resources that helped you is a powerful way to help someone who may be struggling.
- Look for local events you can participate in! Keep in mind, mental health events may extend throughout the year and not just for the month of May!
If you are an employer looking to get your organization involved in Mental Health Awareness Month, here are some suggestions:
- Have your team register and participate in a NAMIwalk, like the one here in Jacksonville, FL!
- Organize weekly or even daily team activities such as yoga classes or after work walking/jogging clubs.
- Commit to walking meetings for the rest of the month.
- Create gratitude or recognition Slack or company channel for employees to express gratitude and support to each other.
- Share mental health resources from Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness.
- Highlight internal mental health resources and service offerings.
- Evaluate your wellness program to ensure you are providing up-to-date and relevant offerings.
- Enhance your wellness program with our Mental Health and Well-Being solutions!