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Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019

abstract painting with mental health focus

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019

Each year, during the first week of October, organizations from across the country work together to raise awareness of mental illness. The goal is to educate the public and fight stigma. It also is an effort to direct those who are struggling to get the support they need.

Although designating a week to recognize this silent struggle is powerful, we know that mental health conditions aren’t confined to time slots. They can affect anyone at any time. About one in five adults has a mental illness in any given year. About 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, with half of those people developing symptoms by the age of 14.

What is mental illness?

This term describes many different mental health conditions that change your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples include depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance use disorder. Many people experience mental health concerns from time to time. A mental health concern becomes a mental illness when symptoms cause stress and affect your ability to function day-to-day. Many of those who have a mental illness do not want to talk about it. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a medical condition like heart disease or diabetes.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness

Mental illness can make you feel miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, at school, at work or in relationships. Symptoms of mental illness can appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches or other unexplained aches and pains. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with medications, talk therapy or both.

If you have any signs or symptoms of mental illness, see your personal doctor or a mental health professional for treatment.

In partnership with MDLIVE®, Network Health offers behavioral health care to members from the comfort of their own homes. Appointments are available with board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists by registering online at If you aren’t a Network Health member, there are other virtual visit options – check with your health insurance provider.

To learn more about mental health, please visit the following websites.

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