Mental Health Awareness Month: How to Get Involved

Millions of Americans are confronted with the reality of living with a mental illness every year. Broward Community & Family Health Centers participate in Mental Health Awareness Month to fight the stigma, provide assistance, and educate the public to support people with mental illnesses and their families.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month, often known as Mental Health Month, occurs every May. Since 1949, it has been observed annually in the United States. This month is meant to promote awareness that mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness and that mental illnesses are common and treatable.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one out of every five Americans suffers from mental illness each year. Another research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that 80% of persons will have at least one episode of mental illness in their lifetime.

Importance of Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month educates individuals about available resources and emphasizes advocacy opportunities. It provides a forum for people to talk about their mental health. This can help decrease stigma and misunderstandings and encourage individuals who are suffering to get assistance and establish a support network.

Fundraising, outreach, and awareness events can all be held during Mental Health Awareness Month. This, in turn, may help fund research, connect advocates, and support a brighter, more promising future for mental health care.

Statistics on Mental Health in the US

Mental illness affects millions of people in the United States each year. These figures reported by NAMI  may also be used to raise public awareness, break down stigmas, and advocate for better health care.

  • In 2020, 21% of adults in the United States suffer from mental illness (52.9 million people). This is equivalent to one in every five adults.
  • In 2016, 16.5 percent of American youth aged 6 to 17 had a mental health problem (7.7 million people)
  • The unemployment rate is higher in U.S. adults who have an existing mental health illness (6.4%) than those who do not (5.1%).
  • High school students with significant depressive symptoms are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers.
  • 15.3% (31.3 million people) of U.S. Veterans suffered from a mental illness in 2019.

Successful Efforts to Raise Mental Health Awareness

  • By 2016, the Affordable Care Act will have covered nearly 30 million Americans, with an estimated 11 million new beneficiaries needing drug abuse and/or mental health services.
  • The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant gives states and territories money to help them implement plans to deliver comprehensive community-based mental health services and evidence-based treatments to individuals with significant mental disorders and children with major emotional problems.
  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 reduces uneven health treatment and promotes access to much-needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.
  • The Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Suicide Prevention Program promotes collaboration between government agencies and the private sector in the development, implementation, and evaluation of youth suicide prevention and early intervention plans among youth-serving places like schools, educational institutions, juvenile justice systems, substance abuse programs, primary care, mental health programs, and foster care systems.

Tips for Getting Involved

  1. Speak up 

Speaking openly about your experience with mental illness is an effective strategy to reduce stigma. Share your mental health struggles with friends, family, and loved ones. When you talk about mental health openly and honestly, you inspire others to do the same.

  1. Check your friends and family 

Chat with your friends and relatives and pay attention to their responses. If they show any signs of depression or stress, let them know that options are available to assist them. If you suspect they’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, urge them to get mental health assessment from our centers.

  1. Use your platform 

Use your platform to help those who might need mental health services. You never know who your postings may influence on social media, which is a powerful tool for connecting people.

  1. Give back to your community

Volunteering is an excellent method to improve your mental health advocacy skills and give back to groups that support the cause. You’ll not only be actively helping people, but you’ll also be able to participate with your local community as a mental health ally.

  1. Prioritize yourself 

Self-care is an excellent method to put your mental health first. You must take care of yourself by exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, and participating in activities that you enjoy.

Another option is to commit to using a mental health screening tool to learn more about where you stand with your own mental health. To find out where you are in terms of mental health, go here to arrange a mental health assessment from our providers.


This Mental Health Awareness Month, we can influence how society sees mental health and mental illness if we work together. Continue the mental health movement this month and every month by speaking up, sharing experiences, and telling others that they are not alone. If we do not take action to improve our society’s attitude toward mental health, including mental illness, nothing will change.

Help is available if you are having trouble with your mental health. Visit our website to know more about our mental health services or call us at 954-624-3200.