May 2023 – Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month is an annual observance that takes place in May. It’s a time to raise awareness of mental health issues facing our nation, be able to recognize warning signs, and encourage people to seek treatment if they need it. Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the United States since 1949, with the goal to erase the stigma around mental health and to provide support, awareness, and education on the topic.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Month for 2023 is “Take Some Time to Look Around, Look Within” which encourages everyone–from individuals, families, employers, and policymakers to talk about this topic that touches all of us in one way or another.
Mental Health America (MHA) was founded in 1909 to help address the needs of those suffering from mental illness. Each year MHA releases a report on the state of mental health in America. In the 2023 report, studies show that in 2019-2020, 20.78% of adults were experiencing a mental illness – this is equal to over 50 million Americans. Along with the number of Americans suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse, there is a severe shortage of mental health providers. When people are desperate for help, having to wait weeks or months to be seen by a mental health professional can be a life-threatening situation. According to MHA, in the U.S., there are 350 individuals for every one mental health care professional.
Statistics of Mental Health in the United States
The prevalence of mental illness in the United States is at an all-time high. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults experiences a mental illness each year and one in twenty adults experience serious mental illness each year. One statistic that is astounding is that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people 10-14 years old. These are just a few statistics that show just how prevalent the mental health situation is in the United States, giving us all even more reason to see how we can look out for warning signs and look at ourselves and those around us to see if help is needed.
CalCPA Health medical subscribers have access to understanding mental health and what resources are available to them (Visit https://www.anthem.com/ca/mental-health). Another resource CalCPA Health medical members have access to is LiveHealth Online which offers online psychology and psychiatry visits.
Here at CalCPA Health, we understand the current mental health crisis and want to make sure we continue to openly talk about it and have resources available not only to our members but to anyone who visits our site. Even if we reach just one person – and have the right information at the right time to make a positive difference in their life, that’s everything.
Important Note: If you are in crisis or have suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help immediately. Dial 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States. Dial 911 in case of an emergency or visit your nearest emergency room.
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