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By Helen A.

The month of May has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) is using the theme of “You are not alone” to bring support and awareness this month to individuals dealing with mental health issues.

According to NAMI, 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults.

NAMI lists what they term the “ripple effect of mental illness.” Here are just a few of the “ripples:”

For the person

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.
  • 18.4% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2019 (9.5 million individuals)

For the person’s family

  • At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue.
  • Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care.

For the community

  • Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult (estimated 12 million visits).
  • Mood disorders are the most common cause of hospitalization for all people in the U.S. under age 45 (after excluding hospitalization relating to pregnancy and birth).

For the world

  • Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

These are only some of the statistics that show the impact that mental health has on one’s physical health, family, and beyond. NAMI and Mental Health America (MHA) are just two of the organizations where help can be found. If you or someone you know needs assistance, reach out to qualified professionals for the help you need.

EVPL has many books on this topic as well, which can assist you in learning more about how to cope with mental illness in your life. Remember, you are not alone.

Helen A.

Helen A.


Give her a crossword puzzle to work, and Helen is one happy camper. She also enjoys making recipes healthier, developing her green thumb, and tracking her daily steps on walks with her husband.

Cinco de Mayo
YA | Mental Health
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