Mental Health Awareness Month | May

May 1, 2024
Mental Health Awareness safety consulting visual

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since its inception in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been a cornerstone of addressing the challenges faced by millions of Americans living with mental health conditions. Throughout the month, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) actively participates in this national movement, dedicated to eradicating stigma, extending support, fostering public education, and advocating for policies that prioritize the well-being of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

It’s important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social, and financial impact — and so we can show that no one is alone. The statistics below are powerful tools for raising public awareness, stigma-busting, and advocating for better health care:

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14

This year, NAMI is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with the Take the Moment campaign. We encourage you to join us in fostering open dialogues, cultivating empathy and understanding. We also urge you to share our resources to support individuals and families on their journey towards mental wellness. Through "Take the Moment," we shine a spotlight on NAMI's array of signature programs including:

  • NAMI Basics: A free, six-session education program for parents, caregivers and other family members who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms.
  • NAMI Family-to-Family: A free, eight-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people with mental health conditions.
  • NAMI Family & Friends: A free 90-minute or four-hour seminar that informs people who have loved ones with a mental health condition how to best support them.
  • NAMI Homefront: A free, six-session program for families, caregivers and friends of military members and veterans with mental health conditions. Plus, find free online resources available 24/7.
  • NAMI In Our Own Voice: Free presentations that provide a personal perspective of mental health conditions, as leaders with lived experience talk openly about what it's like to have a mental health condition.
  • NAMI Peer-to-Peer: A free, eight-session educational program for adults with mental health conditions who are looking to better understand themselves and their recovery

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988, or chat to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

To learn more about mental illness and Mental Health Awareness month, visit

Credit: NAMI

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