In 1992, the World Health Organization designated October 10 as the first annual “World Mental Health Day,” with a goal of reducing stigma and advocating for people living with mental illness. People today, especially younger generations, are more open about this topic — a shift precipitated by a confluence of factors. Policy changes have improved coverage for treatment, and research has improved the efficacy of many therapeutic interventions. The advent of social media has made all manner of previously taboo topics fit for public consumption — it’s more common than ever for celebrities to share openly about their own experiences in therapy.
World Mental Health Day gives a unique opportunity to celebrate this progress, while continuing to advocate and spread awareness. In recognition of World Mental Health Day, here are five things you might not know (from NAMI)
- 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year
- Anxiety affects approximately 19% of adults in the U.S.
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years
- At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue
- According to SAMHSA, nearly 60% of adults with mental illness did not seek any treatment last year.
If you or someone you know might be experiencing emotional difficulties or mental illness, know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help.