May is Mental Health Awareness Month in America, a month dedicated to raising awareness and breaking the stigma of mental health by reaching millions of people through media, local events and screenings. Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May throughout the United States in 1949 and was started by the organization Mental Health America.


2019 marks the 70th year of celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month. This year, the organization Mental Health America is expanding upon last year’s theme of #4Mind4Body and, according to the organization’s web site, “taking it to the next level, as we explore the topics of animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.”


Mental Health Awareness Month is about more than simply bringing awareness to the public about mental health issues. It is also about truly bringing the reality to the public that millions of Americans live with mental health issues and mental illness. This month is an opportunity to focus on raising awareness of that fact, but also educating the public about mental health and mental illness, providing support for those suffering and living with mental health issues and mental illness, fighting the stigma surrounding mental health issues and mental illness, and advocating for policies that support people living with mental health issues and mental illness and their families.


According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States- 43.8 million people or 18.5% of the population, experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the United States- 9.8 million or 4% of the population, experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Additionally, approximately 1 in 5 youths (ages 13-18), or 21.4%, experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8-15, the estimate is 13%.


Mental disorders do not necessarily mean several mental illnesses. Examples of mental health issues or mental illnesses are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, and mood disorders. According to NAMI, among the over 20 million adults in the United States that suffer from substance use disorder, 50.5%, or 10.2 million adults, also suffered from a co-occurring mental health disorder.


If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at

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