May is officially recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, but CHD believes this topic is far too important to limit the focus to a single month. That’s why we shine a light on mental health every day!
Why does this matter? Because mental illness impacts so many. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 60 million Americans from all walks of life experience mental illness in a given year.
That’s more than 18 percent of the U.S. population. A report issued by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 20 percent of children living in the U.S. experience a mental disorder in a given year. Of those children, about half received treatment—which mean half did not!
Mental illness impacts both genders, all ages, and all social categories. Many people find difficult even to talk about it, but you can begin the conversation with three words: “How are you?” If someone you know seems down or withdrawn, is behaving in an unusual manner, or exhibits signs of drug or alcohol dependency, ask them “How are you?” And then listen! Whether it’s your child, spouse, friend or co-worker, hear what they have to say. Let them know you care and express your support. Importantly, help them appreciate that help is available and asking for help is a sign of strength.
Many factors impact mental health, such as:
- Use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
- Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs
- Trauma, violence and exploitation
To find out more, call 844-CHD-HELP or fill out this form. We’ll reach out to you to ask, “How are you?” We’d really like to know.