Mental Health Awareness Month acknowledges the nearly 53 million Americans that are living with a mental illness. This year’s Lock and Talk Mental Health Awareness Month theme “Speak Up for Mental Wellness” encourages individuals and communities to start a conversation on the importance of mental wellness.
In Virginia, more than one million adults have a mental health condition. To put it into perspective, that is four times the population of Richmond. Also, in the Commonwealth, nearly 100,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have depression.
Research shows that discussing mental health can lead to support, reduce stigma, prevent harmful means of coping, improve an individual’s mental and physical health, and build a community.
Recent mental health statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- 21% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2020
- 5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016
- The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years
- People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population
- Students aged 6-17 with mental, emotional or behavioral concerns are 3x more likely to repeat a grade
- Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care
- 8% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition
- 3% of U.S. Veterans experienced a mental illness in 2019
- 1 in 5 people report that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact on their mental health
Whether it be to inform or to seek help, talking about mental wellness is important.
Here are important resources to share throughout the month of May and year-round:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Crisis Text Line
- Same Day Mental Health Services
- Virginia Community Services Boards (CSBs) - see map below
- National Alliance for Mental Illness
- Mental Health Conversations in Your Community
- Lock and Talk Virginia
- Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
- Use Veterans Crisis Chat on the web