Since the year 1949, many have observed the month of May as Mental Health Awareness Month.  This has led to continual improvements in both the awareness of mental health problems within the country, as well as improvements in the treatments and advancement of these issues.  With every passing year, more and more Americans are able to come to terms with the realities of mental and behavioral health issues. As awareness increases, so does our society’s ability to effectively treat these problems.  We can be the difference in helping to change the stigmas and cultures surrounding depression, PTSD, addictions and others.

Let’s take a hard look at some mental health facts then:

  • One in every five adults in the United States, or 43.8 million individuals, experience some type of mental illness every year.
  • 50 percent of those with chronic mental illnesses begin by the age of 14.
  • Around 60% of adults, and close to 50% of youths aged 8 to 15 years old did not receive any mental health services last year.
  • African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans utilized mental health services at about half the rate of whites, and Asian-American at around one-third the rate.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • 2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders

Mental Illness Reality

Facing the stark reality of these statistics, one would reasonably assume that mental health issues are at the forefront of everyone’s minds; however, stigmas continue to exist, and many are often unaware of the mental conditions that are plaguing our society.  While it’s easy to be aware that problems exist, it is another thing to be truly “aware” of how debilitating mental health issues can be in anyone’s life.  Everyone is likely connected in some way to an individual who is dealing with a mental or behavioral health challenge.  It may be hidden, or it may be featured prominently in their personal lives, but nothing can help more than showing your support for those who are suffering.

What’s the Purpose

So with the purpose of spreading knowledge and education on the symptoms, causes and specific treatments available, let’s take the opportunity this month, and even for the coming months, to loudly proclaim your support for mental health. Let’s stand in unity against the stigmas that have a louder voice than ever through social media and 24/7 news cycles.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

Individuals who struggle and live with mental health conditions face a greater risk of chronic health issues down the road. The importance is to invest now in treatments, as opposed to putting it off for years. It is not always easy to admit that one needs specific help to treat something, but in the end, it will be one of the best decisions they have ever made.  Being able to start treatment for debilitating issues such as anxiety or depression will not only increase the individual’s quality of life, but it could ultimately save theirs as well.

Take a Pledge

For now, let’s take a pledge to help promote unity and understanding, as well as helping to share information with others who may not have access, or who were completely unaware. Change starts with the smallest step, and in this fight against mental illnesses, you can help play an integral role!

Seek Help

For more information regarding mental or behavioral health issues, what you can do to help and figuring out where to get treatment, contact us for a completely free and confidential mental health assessment.