May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  It has been observed since 1949.

This year the National Alliance on Mental Illness is celebrating with the More Than Enough campaign:

It’s an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold – no matter our diagnosis, appearance, socioeconomic status, background or ability. We want every person out there to know that if all you did was wake up today, that’s more than enough. No matter what, you are inherently worthy of more than enough life, love and healing. Showing up, just as you are, for yourself and the people around you is more than enough.

NAMI invites all of us to share on social media why you are more than enough using the @NAMIcommuicate tag and the hashtag #MoreThanEnough.

Here are some staggering statistics about mental health in our country:

  • 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness each year, and less than half of them receive treatment
  • 1 in 20 adults experience serious mental illness each year, and only 65% received treatment
  • 55% of U.S. counties do not have a single practicing psychiatrist
  • 6% of adults with mental illness and 11.9% of adults with serious mental illness had no insurance coverage in 2021
  • Serious mental illness causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year
  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population
  • Among people age 18-44, psychosis spectrum and mood disorders account for nearly 600,000 hospitalizations each year
  • 50% of lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14

These statistics are very telling about the state of mental health care in the U.S. We need to do better. And we need to focus on mental health for more than one month every year. Mental illness is treatable. All of us in the health care industry need to do more to help make treatment accessible to all.