By Carol Queiroz
Image via HRCSB
Since 1949 in the United States, May has been known as Mental Health Awareness Month. And for many, this month holds great significance. Millions of people in the U.S and around the world live with mental illness that can drastically interfere with day to day life. As a person who has been living with a diagnosed Cronach Anxiety Disorder since early middle school, I find it extremely important to educate others not only on the severity and importance of mental health but also how to support those who live with mental illness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness (around 51.5 million people in 2019) with 1 in 20 cases being severe. 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year, with LGBT youth being two to four times more likely to develop mental illness. Finally, Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34. Since mental health is a battle many fight alone or silently, it can be difficult to see from the outside. However, the reality is that there is probably at least one person in your life who lives with mental illness, and it is time to acknowledge this ever-growing crisis.
During this month and beyond, continually check on loved ones around you, donate to mental health funds if you are able to, and be sure to be taking care of your own mental health. Remember to keep the conversation going so we can work towards breaking the negative stigma surrounding mental health.
Written by writer Carol Queiroz