Support Mental Health Awareness Month This May
A MESSAGE FROM KM365 FOUNDER LAURA REISS
America is facing a rising tide of mental health concerns. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reports of more Americans dealing with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and substance abuse is off the charts. Mental health in America is an issue that has been stigmatized and never fully addressed, and it has only worsened since 2020, impacting more American individuals and families than ever.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of those living with mental health issues and mental illness. It is an observation, a celebration, a time for reflection and education, and a call to action. It is an opportunity to educate Americans about mental health, mental illness, and how they impact individuals, families, and communities and provide resources for those in need of help. During May and all year long, Kindness Matters 365 (KM365) proudly supports the national movement to raise awareness about mental health and help fight the stigma that surrounds it.
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. The statistics are staggering. According to the latest numbers, one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. One in 20 experience what is described or diagnosed as a severe mental illness. One in six youths in the United States between the ages of 6 and 17 experience a mental health disorder. Fifty percent of all lifelong mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people in the United States aged 10 to 34.
Mental health conditions and mental illness impact far too many Americans, their family members, and their communities each day. We must focus more on the problem and available solutions as a society. We must deem mental health as important as physical health. While Americans often seek medical attention, help, and support for physical ailments and illnesses, the brain and our emotional wellbeing are often ignored or overlooked.
Mental health is an everyday issue dealt with by millions of Americans and humankind. This Mental Health Awareness Month, we ask you to stand with KM365 and help spread the word through awareness, support, and advocacy. Help remove the stigma that mental health issues are individual problems. We must join together to raise awareness of the epidemic and reduce its stigma. 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.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression, they need to know that they are NOT alone. The Charlie Fund is an incredible nonprofit dedicated to creating and growing spaces, programming, and resources that help build connections and break down the stigma around mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) also has local chapters offering support groups and classes. Just extending support or letting someone know where they can find resources could make the difference.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, please find what resource works best for your community, yourself, and loved ones and bring awareness to the forefront. Together we can help make an impact. Awareness CAN make a difference. And mental health MATTERS.