May is Mental Health Awareness Month…Awareness Month? What exactly does “Awareness Month” mean, though, right? Well, it means to gain knowledge and information about how important our mental health is, to end the stigma on mental health, and to support those who have mental health disorders.

What is Stigma?

People who experience mental health conditions often face discrimination, bullying and rejection. This makes the journey to recovery that much more difficult. Stigma means someone views another with disgrace, bringing shame that feels like the person is being judged. Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation, blame and secrecy that stigma causes creates huge challenges in reaching out, getting support, and living well. Learning how to cope and address stigma is important for all of us.

Mental Health Facts

  • 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental health condition.
  • 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the U.S. lives with a serious mental illness.
  • 47.5 million people in the U.S. face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness.
  • Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have shown symptoms of an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., but suicide is preventable.