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May Marks National Mental Health Awareness Month

Filed in Community/PACT, News, Parents, Youth by on May 3, 2017 • views: 743

Throughout the month of May, many organizations will celebrate National Mental Health Awareness Month, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, and SAMHSA’s National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 4.

If your son broke his leg, you would go to the doctor, right? If your daughter had bronchitis, you might ask about antibiotics, right? Unfortunately, the same is not the case when our young people experience a mental health condition. According to Mental Health America, 64.1% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.

Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13 to 18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, according to NAMI. For children aged 8 to 15, the estimate is 13%. And approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — 43.8 million, or 18.5% — experiences mental illness in a given year. Yet despite the prevalence of mental health issues in the United States, there is still a stigma attached to asking for help. Why? We need to change that or young people will continue to suffer alone with something that can be treated.

Mental Health Awareness Month is a chance to talk openly in our communities and with our youth about mental health conditions and work to erase the stigma associated with them. In recent years, several celebrities have come forward to talk about their own struggles with mental health, including Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and more.

In our own community, Pelham PACT Coalition works to talk about these issues and offers resources on our website related to stress and anxiety, and issues that affect teens and their mental health, including sleep, self-esteem, and anxiety. We also encourage you to learn more about mental health issues by visiting these websites for information and resources:

In honor of mental health awareness and in support of having a community discussion that breaks down the stigma, members of PACT’s Youth Leadership Council will be handing out green ribbons at the Pelham LOFT Field Fest event at Glover Field on May 13. These ribbons are meant to remind attendees of the importance of talking about and seeking help to ensure positive mental health. This May, let’s see the person amidst the illness and encourage them to get the help they need.


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