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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mental Health Awareness

National Mental Health Month raises awareness about mental illness and related issues in the United States. In recent times, attitudes towards mental health issues appear to be changing. Negative attitudes and stigma associated with mental health have reduced and there has been growing acceptance towards mental health issues and support for people with them.
Despite this shift in attitude, the idea of a mental health awareness campaign is not a recent one. In the late 1940's, the first National Mental Health Awareness Week was launched in the United States.
During the 1960's, this annual, weekly campaign was upgraded to a monthly one with May the designated month.

Many mental health problems can be avoided by taking positive lifestyle choices in how we act and think before they can manifest.
An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. Not only are these adults affected by one mental illness; 45% of these adults meet criteria for two or more disorders.
These range from fairly common mood disorders to the much more serious anxiety and schizophrenia disorders. Among these, anxiety disorders were the most common, as some 40 million American adults ages 18 and older suffer from some form of anxiety disorder.Despite the large number of Americans affected by such disorders, stigma surrounding mental illness is a major barrier that prevents people from seeking the mental health treatment that they need.

Programs during Mental Illness Awareness Week are designed to create community awareness and discussion in an effort to put an end to stigma and advocate for treatment and recovery.
To coincide with Mental Health Awareness month, Other mental health campaigns & activities also run during this month. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is one such campaign. This event is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA). Other activities have included 'Blogging for Mental Health' and 'Help For People Seeking Psychological Services'.