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Mental Health Awareness Activities
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we focus on the issue of mental health disorders, mental illnesses, and ways to help people struggling with these debilitating diseases. Activities are taking place all across the country, and there are links below to help you find an event near you.
Mental health issues like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and PTSD are prevalent in America today, and they pose challenges for everyday life, and contribute to a host of other health issues. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions (NIH). Mental health disorders also lead to loss of productivity, relationship problems, and trouble with drugs and alcohol abuse. It is estimated that serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Proper mental health care is important to help treat these disorders and to promote overall wellness.
Mental Health Statistics
According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
• Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
• Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
• Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
• 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
• 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
• 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
• 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced a depression or anxiety disorder such as post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
• Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.
• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–1421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24. (CDC)
• More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition or an illness.
• Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide. (CDC)
Hope through Awareness
There is hope for those with mental illness and there is treatment for it, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look for help. That’s what Mental Health Awareness Month is all about. We first need to identify the problem, help those struggling with it to become comfortable asking for help, and then provide them with effective treatment that provides lasting results.
Mental Health Awareness Month has been providing hope since 1949. Through the media, local events, and screenings, Mental Health America partners with other organizations to help spread the word about mental health disorders. This year’s theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body, and it focuses on the whole health of the person – mind, and body – and the resources available to help people become fit.
Activities are scheduled for locations across the country. Walks, poster contests, social media campaigns, and town hall discussions are just some of the activities different organizations have planned.
Some more activities include:
• College of Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA, hosted a “Shine a Light” event. The school placed more than 1,100 lanterns in the Honor Grove to represent the 1,100 college students that lose their lives to suicide every year.
• Care And Counseling in St. Louis, MO, is offering free and confidential mental health screenings Wednesday, May 23rd.
• David Lawrence Center Young Executives hosted a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week-themed “Friendraiser.” The event gave young professionals the opportunity to mingle and fundraise to support mental health and illness care for children in the area.
• Twitch, the live streaming video platform, has asked its streamers to help raise awareness for Mental Health Month by talking about their own personal struggles with the issue and by donating to fundraisers who support education and treatment.
• Keith O’Neil, former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, spoke at an event in Buffalo to discuss his experience with bipolar disorder in a talk called “Tackling Mental Health Issues.”
To find an activity near you, or to plan your own Mental Health Awareness Month activity, visit the links below.
Treatment for Mental Health Disorders
Help for mental illness is available and it is affordable. If you think you have a mental health disorder, get help today. If you have a loved one you think is struggling with mental illness, we can help. JC’s Recovery Center is equipped to treat co-occurring disorders of addiction and mental illness. Through our holistic approach to recovery, we use proven therapies to help heal the entire individual: body, spirit, and mind. Contact us today to learn more or to get help today.