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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it was first officially observed in the United States in 1949 by the organization Mental Health America (MHA), which was known as the National Association for Mental Health at the time. This annual observance aims to raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote the importance of mental well-being. Mental Health Awareness Month is recognized and celebrated in various ways, including through media campaigns, local events, social media initiatives, and film screenings.

During this month, individuals and organizations come together to advocate for mental health, share personal stories, and provide resources and support to those in need. The goal is to destigmatize mental health conditions and encourage people to seek help when needed. Through these efforts, the hope is to create a more compassionate and understanding society that prioritizes mental well-being.

Mental Health Awareness Month Matters to Behavioral Health Providers

In recent years, Mental Health Awareness Month has gained significant traction and visibility, with more people recognizing the importance of mental health. It serves as a reminder that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be given equal attention and care.

Moreover, Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a platform for advocacy and policy change. It brings attention to the need for improved mental health services, increased access to care, and better support for individuals and youth facing mental health challenges. By highlighting the struggles faced by those with mental illnesses and the impact on individuals, families, youth, and communities, this observance plays a vital role in shaping public opinion and influencing policy decisions. Increased visibility can lead to much needed funding opportunities for behavioral health providers and policy changes that can impact their clients' lives for the better.


The Statistics of Mental Health

These statistics highlight the magnitude of mental health issues and underscore the crucial role of awareness in the United States.

  • 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 second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the rise in mental health issues has been staggering, and nearly 52 million adults have experienced a mental health issue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently released data that one in four adults are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder.

Government Support of Mental Health

On April 30, 2021, The White House posted a proclamation from President Biden that emphasized how significantly the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of many while also creating barriers to treatment. In March 2021, President Biden also signed the American Rescue Plan Act which includes roughly $4 billion to be put toward behavioral health and mental health services. Local and state governments also have various initiatives and funds available to support mental health services as people are slowly recovering from the pandemic years.

Mental Health Awareness Month Resources

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has numerous support and education resources, from education tools, to support groups, videos, discussion groups, and podcasts. They also run a national helpline for those struggling with mental health.

Mental Health America has crisis resources where individuals can get support during a crisis situation, and warm lines for those struggling with mental health who want to have a confidential discussion with peers who know what they're going through.  They have numerous other resources on their website to help educate, advocate, and increase resiliency regardless of an individual's personal situation.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also has resources for those looking for treatment, who are in disaster distress, and those who are in crisis. They also focus specifically on substance use disorder treatment, substance use prevention and education, and recovery. This includes resources for trainings and grant funding for behavioral health providers.

"Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does."


Exym Supports Behavioral Health Providers

Raising awareness about mental health is crucial as it plays a significant role in destigmatizing mental health issues and creating a supportive environment for those who are struggling. It is important for us to recognize that not all battles are visible on the surface, and by promoting mental health awareness, we can ensure that individuals feel comfortable seeking help and support. Exym behavioral health EHR proudly stands behind Mental Health Awareness Month and supports the agencies and individuals who are dedicated to improving mental health.

Exym is a comprehensive EHR software solution designed specifically for behavioral health agencies. Trusted for 20+ years, our intuitive and customizable software empowers providers to improve client outcomes, manage revenue cycles, and increase agency efficiency. Exym allows you to spend more time on what matters most- the clients in your care.

If you'd like to learn more about how Exym can help your agency, visit our page for Behavioral Health Providers or book a demo.

Jessica Carey
Post by Jessica Carey
May 30, 2023