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May is Mental Health Month

Addiction recovery and mental health go hand in hand. In the United States, 20.2 million adults are experiencing a substance use disorder. Of those, 10.2 million have a co-occurring mental illness. This means that conditions like depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar, OCD and others are strongly associated with addiction.

The purpose of Mental Health Month is to raise awareness and reduce stigma with regards to mental illnesses. This year, the focus of Mental Health Month is “Risky Business.” Mental Health America explains, “We believe it’s important to educate people about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. These include risk factors such as risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns1.”

Governmental institutions, social media platforms, non-profits and individuals have joined together to reach people through screenings, events and education.

 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has published the following facts to help raise awareness during Mental Health Month:

 

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NAMI-Taking-Charge-of-Your-Mental-Health

 

Here’s what YOU can do:

  • Take NAMI’s “StigmaFree” pledge by committing to avoid labels and speak respectfully about mental illness.
  • Become educated about the prevalence of mental illnesses in the United States and even in your specific demographic. Be aware that 1 in 5 U.S. adults have mental illnesses.
  • Familiarize yourself with the resources available online as well as in your community.
  • Learn about “Risky Business” and conditions that are commonly co-occurring with mental illness, like eating disorders and substance use disorders.
  • Talk to friends and family about the things that you learn and encourage them to participate in Mental Health Month