Now, more than ever, we are seeing a rise in mental health related disorders. The pandemic over the last 2 years has had a significant impact on the way people have been able to manage stressors.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 20 US adults experience a serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 US youth ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifelong mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Despite these statistics, recovery is possible! However, many (nearly half) of those with mental health disorders do not receive treatment. For some, access to effective treatment is a problem, but for others the stigma associated with seeking help prevents them from getting the help they need.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose of mental health awareness month is not only to bring awareness to mental health but also to provide education, support, to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and to provide access to care. NAMI’s theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “Together for Mental Health,” stating, “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.”
When did Mental Health Awareness Begin?
Mental Health Awareness Month first began in 1949. The idea of Mental Health Awareness began with Clifford Whittingham Beers, who suffered from mental illness himself, and spent time in a mental institution. He found through his treatment in the hospital that the mental health profession had a reputation for bias and maltreatment. He later went on to write the book, “A Mind That Found Itself” and founded The National Committee for Mental Hygiene, now known as Mental Health America, which strived to help people struggling with mental illness know that they aren’t alone and to help them access quality care.
Take time to care for yourself.
Pause and reflect. We’ve all been through a lot over the last several years—social distancing or isolation, working from home, quarantining, possible job loss, grief, and sickness. It is ok not to be ok. You may be noticing that you’re having difficulty sleeping, experiencing low motivation, fatigue, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable or even sad. You can begin your healing journey today. Reach out for help and connect with others. You are not alone.
Graceful Balance is dedicated to helping individuals struggling with anxiety reduce and manage their symptoms by providing faith-based mind-body counseling, psychoeducation, resources, and support.
If you or a loved one are struggling with thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to the National Suicide Hotline, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.
For some encouragement, read Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 91 & 1 Peter 5:7.