May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Fast Facts
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all 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

Source:  National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI)


Your mind matters. You are not alone. Many people experiencing mental health concerns do not seek help due to the stigmatization that still occurs in our society, despite a recent increase in awareness and education.  Others struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live next door, coach your children or sit next to you in church.

While each illness has its own symptoms, common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:

  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Extreme changes in mood or behavior
  • Avoidance of friends and social activities
  • Changes in sleep or eating habits
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Thoughts of suicide

Demonstrating respect and acceptance toward those experiencing a mental illness, including yourself, is an important step in breaking down the walls of stigma, misinformation and discrimination.  We can seek to learn more about mental illness and use this knowledge within our spheres of influence to foster positive change in our families, communities, schools and churches.

Recovery is a reality for most people experiencing mental illness.  Although taking the initial steps toward finding help can be difficult or confusing, exploring options and finding the treatment that works for you is very important and can be life changing.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or Text 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.