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Mind flex: Unveiling the mind: Mental Health Awareness Month

With the arrival of May marking the start of Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to shine a light on issues often kept in the dark. We aim to break mental health stigma and start conversations that matter. We’ll dive into some facts and figures, cover the warning signs of mental illness, and provide a list of mental health resources for those who may need help. Let’s prove that understanding and empathy can make all the difference in mental health awareness. 

Facts and figures 

Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949. It was established by the Mental Health American organization to raise awareness and educate the public about mental health conditions, to reduce stigma and to promote resources for those living with mental health issues. 

Adults ages 18 to 34 report the highest rate of mental illnesses at 50% in 2023.

One in two adults worldwide experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. 

Green is the color most commonly associated with mental health awareness. 

Poor mental health can increase the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24 in the United States. 

Three-quarters of mental illnesses begin before the age of 24. 

59.8% of youth with major depression don’t receive any mental health treatment.

Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in earnings per year. 

Over 12.1 million (4.8%) adults have reported serious thoughts of suicide. 

There are an estimated 350 individuals for every one mental health provider in the United States. 

One in 10 youth who are covered under private insurance don’t have coverage for mental or emotional difficulties. 

42% of adults with mental illness are unable to receive necessary care because they can’t afford it. 

Common warning signs 

While diagnosing mental illness isn’t a straightforward science, several unique symptoms can exist. (Disclaimer: This is not intended to be medical advice. Please see your medical practitioner for help or a medical diagnosis.) 

Feeling sad or withdrawn for more than two weeks. 

Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart, physical discomfort or difficulty breathing. 

Significant weight loss or weight gain. 

Excessive use of alcohol or drugs. 

Drastic changes in mood, behavior, personality and sleeping habits. 

Extreme difficulty concentrating or staying still. 

Trying to harm oneself, end one’s life or making plans to do so. 

Mental health resources 

If you notice any loved ones experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to ask questions and try to understand what they’re experiencing. And if you or they are struggling, help is available. 

Call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org to chat with someone online. 

Visit FindTreatment.gov, a confidential and anonymous resource for those seeking treatment. 

Encourage young LGBTQ+ people to contact The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org) for crisis support. 

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