May is almost over, but that doesn't mean we need to stop talking about mental health. We need to raise awareness and fight the stigma that still exists today around people with mental illness.
What is Stigma?
Stigma is a negative word that creates shame, fear, and brings judgment on those who are fighting for their life. As a result of stigma, often people will choose not to seek help because of the fear of what people will think of them, or what they will be labeled.
Here are a few mental health facts provided by the National Alliance of Mental Illness to help establish just how prevalent mental illness is in America (NAMI, 2018).
- 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions, that’s 43.8 million adults who experience mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
- One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24.
- More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
- According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States, age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment (ADAA, 2016).
What will you choose?
We have a choice to make. We can show love and support to those who struggle with mental illness or we can choose to add to the stigma and ignore the reality of what most people are facing in America.
Do you know someone who has a mental illness?
Our health and well-being is so important. It is a gift! You deserve to feel healthy, happy, and supported in this journey and know that you are not alone. Sometimes it takes a friend, a counselor, or an accountability partner to help you in this journey. At Novo Life Counseling, our goal is to help break down those barriers, remove the stigma, and to create a safe place for you to feel seen and heard. To learn more click here.