The first full week of October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. At Cumberland Heights, we celebrate this observance each year by spreading helpful information and reducing stigma about the subject of mental health. It is our goal to promote mental wellness, inspire individuals to seek help and dispel misconceptions surrounding this topic. Please join us in observing this important occasion.
About Mental Illness
Mental illness is extremely common in the United States. One in five U.S. adults experience a diagnosable mental illness each year, and one in twenty-five will deal with a serious mental illness in that time. Some groups are more at risk than others. For example, mental illness affects…
- One in six young people (aged 6 to 17)
- 37% of LGB adults
- 27% of Mixed or Multiracial adults
- 22% of American Indians/Alaska Natives
- 20% of White adults
- 17% of Latinx adults
- 16% of Black adults
- 15% of Asian adults
There are also specific statistics regarding each disorder. An estimated 48 million American adults suffer from anxiety, while 17.7 million deal with a major depressive episode in a year. 9 million adults will face PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), while millions more attempt to cope with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and schizophrenia.
Unfortunately, mental illness comes with a great amount of stigma in American society. Many people may believe that these conditions are rare, or that they predispose those with them to be violent. It is also commonly thought that people with mental illness cannot live normal lives. These beliefs are all untrue. In fact, you probably know quite a few people dealing with the symptoms of a mental health issue; you just don’t realize it because they are productive, helpful members of your community. By posting, sharing and discussing factual information about these diagnoses, you can help to reduce stigma and educate your loved ones.
How to Observe Mental Illness Awareness Week
As with all observances in 2020, we’re having to adapt the means by which we celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week. Luckily, there are several ways that you can join in from the comfort of your own home.
Post Graphics and Facts
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has put together a suite of graphics, statistics and videos which you can share on social media. These posts can spread awareness of Mental Illness Awareness Week and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in America. Promoting factual information, providing support and linking to valuable resources can help your friends, family and followers to find the help they need. You can view these graphics and posts here.
Help a Loved One
Many of us have friends or family members who are struggling with their mental health, especially in the unprecedented era of COVID-19. The pandemic has created an environment of isolation and separation which can negatively impact those of us who are predisposed to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. If you know someone who is having a hard time, we encourage you to reach out and offer support. Let them know that you are willing to help them find a path to treatment. Reassure your friend or family member that there is nothing shameful about needing assistance to restore their mental health. Sometimes, all it takes is a little extra support to make a positive lifestyle change.
Participate in Events
Even during the pandemic, NAMI is hosting a series of events for Mental Illness Awareness Week. We recommend that you find a way to participate in these observances that is quarantine-friendly and safe for yourself and your loved ones. NAMI’s events include:
- Tuesday Oct. 6: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
- Thursday Oct. 8: National Depression Screening Day
- Saturday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day
- Saturday Oct. 10: NAMIWalks National Day of Hope
Share Your Story
If you feel comfortable, sharing your own journey with mental illness can be an extremely impactful way to help others. For the year of 2020, NAMI has launched a year-long awareness campaign entitled You Are Not Alone. The novel coronavirus has increased feelings of loneliness and isolation; it is more important than ever before to foster togetherness and support in the mental health community.
Mental Health Care is Available
Each year, millions of Americans deal with a mental illness. While these conditions can be challenging, recovery is possible. At Cumberland Heights, we offer comprehensive therapeutic services that help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression and other diagnoses in conjunction with substance use disorders. For more information, please contact us today.