Guest Post: 9 Reasons Mental Health Matters

May is Mental Health Month. Here are nine reasons why you should be paying attention to the Mental Health Movement.

Mental Health Month

Created by the organization Mental Health America, Mental Health Month was first observed in the United States back in 1949. The idea was and still is today to raise awareness and educate the public on issues on mental illness and the challenges faced by the millions of Americans who battle mental illness.

For 70 years Mental Health Month has been observed, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Because there’s more work to be done other non-profits like NAMI also engage in outreach work in May.

9 Reasons Mental Health Matters

Check out the powerful stats below from the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI

Image result for check mark gif  1 in 5 adults in the United States lives with a mental health condition

Image result for check mark gif  1 in 25 (10 million) adults in the United States lives with a serious mental illness

Image result for check mark gif  43.8 million people in the United States face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness

Image result for check mark gif  Half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24, but early intervention programs can help

Image result for check mark gif  African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of whites in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate

Image result for check mark gif  90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but suicide is preventable

Image result for check mark gif  The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with the right treatments and support

Image result for check mark gif  Additional facts and citations are available at Mental Health by the Numbers

Then there’s the elephant in the room, which is the ninth reason mental health month matters, and that is the stigma. Navigating life while battling a mental illness is not an easy task. You can check out some of my personal stories here where I share what it’s like to face that stigma.

Often people who have a mental illness do not receive the help they so desperately need. Worse yet, people with mental illness are often the victims of bullying, harassment, and much worse which perpetuates a vicious cycle. It’s crucial we end this stigma so that people can heal.

NAMI’s Got Your Back!

Please consider visiting the NAMI website to get involved with Mental Health Month! NAMI has a particular page dedicated to Mental Health Month where you can download graphics, share your story, and even find partners and events to take your advocacy to the next level.

If you end up changing your profile picture on social using one of the graphics or share your story, please send me a message letting me know! Let’s all work together to educate others and to end the stigma around mental illness.

Charles-Minguez-PhotoBrief Bio:

Charles Minguez is a practicing Buddhist and meditation teacher sharing his experiences cultivating positive mental health to give people hope that you can too!                      

To find out more about Charles, you can visit his websiteYou’ll also find Charles on Twitter @CharlesMinguez and on Facebook. Finally, you can hear Al’s interview with Charles on The Depression Files podcast here.

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