Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Mental health awareness month is to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. The message for 2022 is “Together for Mental Health.” Together, we can realize our 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. Learn more from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) here.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Although used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being. Learn more about mental health here.
Why is Mental Health Important?
Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. For example, depression increases your risk for long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness. Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.
Mental Illness Statistics
Millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness each year. It’s important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social, and financial impact.
- More than 50 percent of people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year
- 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
What Causes Mental Illness?
There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to the risk for mental illness, such as:
- Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
- Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
- Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Having feelings of loneliness or isolation
- Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, death of a loved one, or a divorce
- A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling
Learn more about mental illness from the Mayo Clinic here.
Community Health Alliance
Our skilled behavioral health specialists’ sole mission is to support and uplift your mental health journey through empathy, insight, and healing. If interested in seeking behavioral health services, please request an appointment with one of our behavioral health providers. We will meet with you one-on-one during the appointment and will schedule follow-up appointments as needed. We can provide behavioral health services to patients aged 6 and above.
Call us to schedule an appointment (775) 329-6300.