Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. Despite mental illnesses’ reach and prevalence, stigma and misunderstanding are also, unfortunately, widespread.
That is why each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness. Each year, we educate the public, fight stigma and provide support. And each year, our movement grows stronger.
We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. Since 1990, when Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.
The theme of this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week is, “What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know.” Throughout the week, we will be raising the voices of those with lived experience to talk about some of the conditions and symptoms that are most misunderstood.
Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 4 – 10 and coincides with additional related events:
- Thursday Oct. 8: National Depression Screening Day
- Saturday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day
- Saturday Oct. 10:NAMIWalks National Day of Hope
In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties would like to share some very helpful state and local resources. Our local Help Line is 443-480-0565 – call for information and assistance. If no answer, leave a voicemail during regular business hours and we will respond no later than the next day. You can also call the NAMIMD help line at 410-884-8691.
NAMI MD is a great statewide resource for all of us, with a very helpful website: https://namimd.org/.Information, resources and graphics to support Mental Illness Awareness Week can be downloaded here. Additional stats, infographics and resources can also be found on NAMI’s Mental Health by the Numbers web page.