May 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Observed in the month of May since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month was started by the organization Mental Health America. Each May, Mental Health Awareness Month seeks to raise awareness about mental health.


Nearly one in five adults in America live with a mental illness or mental health issues. While each type of mental health issue can vary in degree of severity, millions of Americans deal with mental illness and mental health issues ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Some common types of mental health issues faced by Americans are anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorders, behavioral and emotional disorders, dissociation and dissociative disorders, eating disorders, and psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.


In 2019, an estimated 51.5 million adults ages 18 or older in America dealt with some type or severity of mental illness or mental health disorder.  Also In 2019, there were an estimated 13.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States that suffered from a serious mental illness (SMI), with a higher prevalence among females than males. Young adults ages 18-25 had the highest prevalence of serious mental illness, followed by adults between the ages of 26-49 years old, and then ages 50 and older.


The appearance of COVID-19 has only acerbated the mental health issues throughout the United States. Over the last 12 months, more individuals were reported to be dealing with issues such as anxiety, depression, or panic disorder. A higher number of individuals were also reporting more regular thoughts of suicide. Throughout the same time period of the pandemic, the numbers of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses have risen, and more individuals are reporting misusing substances.


Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to bring more awareness to the public surrounding mental health and mental illness, as well as offer resources to individuals and family members that may be impacted by mental health issues. States, communities, and organizations throughout the country will attempt to raise awareness, offer education, and break the stigma regarding mental health and mental illness in America. The 2021 theme for Mental Health Awareness Month will be “Tools 2 Thrive”, with the hope of providing practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.


Another important fact to remember, is that mental health conditions often co-occur with substance use disorder. For individuals misusing drugs and alcohol, or suffering from addiction, it is imperative that they get an accurate assessment of their mental health as well as their substance use disorder. Recovery from addiction occurs most successfully when an individual with a co-occurring disorder is also receiving treatment, care, and support for their mental illness or mental health issues.


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

Related Posts

About the Author

Zach Snitzer

Zach Snitzer is the Corporate Director of Marketing at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations and social media strategies of the organization.