One in five Americans live with a mental health condition and 43.8 million adults in the U.S. face the day-to-day reality of living with a mental illness. Yet, only 41 percent of people with a mental health issue seek treatment.
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood, and may affect their ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Mental illness can include anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Each person will have different experiences – even those with the same diagnosis.
Navigating life with a mental health condition can be challenging. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to seek the help they need because of the stigma attached to mental illness, which can lead to more isolation and withdrawal.
If you or a loved one lives with a mental illness and is struggling, National Disability Institute (NDI) encourages you to contact one of the many organizations in the United States that can give you the support and resources you need to help you live well. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a webpage, Top 25 Helpline Resources, for those in crisis and in need of assistance.
Help spread the word about the importance of mental health by participating in Why Care?, NAMI’s 2019 campaign. According to the NAMI website, “Care has the power to make a life-changing impact on those affected by mental health conditions. Through our own words and actions, we can shift the social and systemic barriers that prevent people from building better lives.”
And be sure to check out Mental Health America’s (MHA) campaign, 4Mind4Body, which emphasizes ways to boost mental health and general wellness. MHA is expanding on last year’s theme of 4Mind4Body and “taking it to the next level to explore the topics of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.”