To help recognize the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s (NAMI) awareness efforts, Congress established the first week of every October as National Mental Health Awareness Week. This initiative aims to help educate people in all 50 states regarding treatment options and give help, healing, and hope to people and families suffering from mental health disorders. If you need treatment, contact our adolescent mental health treatment center in North Carolina today by calling 866.300.5275.
The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Week
Because these disorders touch everyone, initiatives such as this one are critical for educating people, fighting stigma, and offering support or treatment options. While discussions about these issues should occur year-round, this week allows advocates throughout the country to join together as one.
Each year, Mental Health Awareness Week has a specific theme. For example, the theme for 2020 is “What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know.” There are several reasons this theme is so significant, including:
- It impacts more people than you realize: Mental health disorders affect everyone in one way or another. It could be a personal struggle or knowing someone who is suffering. Researchers believe the number of people suffering from these disorders is higher than statistics suggest, due to people not coming forward.
- There must be increases in awareness and education: Talking about mental health disorders helps people realize they’re not alone. These discussions also open the doors to educating others about prevention methods, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.
- It’s possible to eliminate stigma: Those experiencing stigma can feel discriminated against, isolated, shameful, and stereotyped. Talking about this helps people understand that they’re not defined by what they’re going through.
- Treatment must be a priority: When following the tips above, it’s possible to show people that help is available. Talking about treatment is crucial for assisting people in avoiding the risk of developing a chronic medical condition.
How to Observe Mental Health Awareness Week
You can find resources, tool kits, and other materials regarding observing Mental Health Awareness Week on NAMI’s website. There are several graphics, initiatives, and printables available. For example, you can download images to share on social media or write to policymakers and encourage them to join NAMI’s movement.
Additional ways to observe:
- Spreading awareness with statistical and informational graphics and images on flyers, posters, and social media
- Sharing your story about your struggles with mental health
- Join a fundraising team or create one for your area
- Help raise awareness about this initiative using social media posts.
- Discussing the connections between substance use disorder and mental health
How Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Connect
Around half of the people who have a mental health disorder also suffer from substance use disorder (SUD). Studies indicate that hundreds of thousands of adolescents had a co-occurring major depressive episode (MDE) and SUD within the past year. The research further suggests that, within the past year, millions of adults had a co-occurring serious mental illness (SMI) and SUD.
Those with a mental health disorder may resort to substances to help find relief. The unfortunate reality is that nearly half of those individuals suffering from disorders don’t seek treatment. This lack of treatment could put them at a higher risk for SUD. Those who suffer from these conditions and a SUD must receive treatment for both.
Contact Foothills at Red Oak to Learn More
Spreading awareness about mental health and educating people across the country about treatment is critical. However, seeking treatment is also essential. You can get the treatment you need at our North Carolina treatment center. We offer a range of treatment options, including:
- Depression treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- PTSD treatment
- Disordered eating treatment
- Bipolar disorder treatment