May is Mental Health Awareness Month

We’ve come a long way!  We now have a whole month for mental health awareness, and we have seen real awareness growing in so many ways throughout our society.  While stigma remains, it is much easier now to speak out, discuss the issues and educate people about mental illness and mental health.

MoodSurfing has been celebrating people, famous and not famous, who are standing up to reduce stigma around mental illness for some time.  We have profiled entertainers like Demi Lovato, public figures like Devika Bhushan and ordinary people like Brent Guy for their courageous public testimonies in their own spheres.

Progress in mental health and mental illness awareness is truly worthy of celebration.  But of course, we are always aware of how far we still have to go in this area.  Here are some sobering statistics:

2021 Statistics from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing: 

  • One in five adults (57.8 million) in the U.S. have experienced mental illness. 
  • 46.3 million people aged 12 or over have had a substance use disorder. 
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition. 
  • 33.5% of U.S. adults (19.4 million) with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder
  • The average delay between symptom onset and treatment for mental illness is 11 years
  • Over 20 million Americans live in recovery after some form of substance use challenge. 

As we continue to work for improved mental health and increased awareness, we invite everyone to celebrate the progress that has been made and to recommit to more progress in the future.