May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and boy do we need to spread the awareness! Almost one in every five people have a mental illness, that’s 18.5 percent. Before you think, “Oh, that’s not too bad,” remember that it comes out to 42.5 million adults (and this doesn’t even cover kids). Furthermore, only about half of this number are getting treatment.
Why? Well, the reasons are many-fold, but one glaring one is the stigma attached to it. I’ve opined about it before, so I won’t get into it again, but suffice it to say that people hold back from treatment or hide from their mental illness (as if there’s any hiding you can do—if there was I’d be a master at it), and that negative connotation just grows. We need to be open and honest about those mental health problems affecting the world, because they certainly won’t go away on their own.
A month dedicated to mental health awareness is good, but it’s something that should be ongoing. You take care of mental health, and everything else follows; it’s a building block of a happy person and a harmonious community.
I’m Allison Weber, and I have mental health issues.
Spread the awareness. And Choose Joy.