It's Mental Health Awareness Month - here is a reminder You Are Not Alone
May is Mental Health Awareness month - a chance for us to refocus our efforts on managing our stress and trauma, prioritizing discussions relating to mental health, and shedding light on the stigma surrounding mental health and how we can tackle it.
During May, Bring Your Own Power joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Last year, we launched our Mental Health Series: Tools to Redefining Strength to Improve Mental Health. This year we will continue to focus on education and fighting the stigma of mental illness through our Mental Health Series: You Are Not Alone.
While we all need to be more mindful of our mental health, it is also important to remember that you are not alone. Over 47 million Americans report experiencing some form of mental illness.
Collectively we can seek some assurance from the fact that what you are experiencing is not unusual or uncommon and take action to raise awareness and raise a collective voice against the education and stigma attached to mental health.
Mental Health By The Numbers
The following statistics make it clear that mental illnesses are common and no one is alone in fighting and living through their mental health conditions and disorders:
40% of adults in the US report that they are struggling with their mental health.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the US, affecting 40 million adults.
Over 7 million African Americans reported that they have suffered from a mental illness.
African Americans who are living below poverty (reportedly 1 in 5) suffer from psychological distress.
Mental health illness rates are higher amongst women than men.
Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in America, alongside bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder.
Almost 3% of US adults have a bipolar disorder diagnosis, with an average onset age of 25.
Removing The Stigma
Stigma arises from a lack of education and awareness. We all can be more mindful of our mental health and the mental health of those around us. There is a stigma around mental health and its impact, and it can actively stop people from reaching out for treatment and accessing care.
Check out the below ways to reduce the stigma around mental health:
Be informed and educated.
Support those who have a mental illness.
Create equality between mental and physical illnesses.
Create safe spaces for discussions relating to mental health.
Talk openly and honestly about mental health.
Be mindful of the words you use.
Show compassion and empathy for those living with mental health conditions.
Encourage people to choose their own narrative and description of their lived-in experiences.
Call out those in your circle if you come across stigma and discrimination. Be an advocate.
1 in 5 Americans are affected by mental health stigma. Stigma shames those suffering into silence and prevents them from seeking help. Take the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) StigmaFree Pledge to help end stigma.