CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)– Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness month.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the United States experience some type of mental illness every year, and less than half will receive treatment. Additionally, 50-percent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75-percent by age 24.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the need for mental health services into the national spotlight. Anxiety and depression rose among people of all ages, especially children. Substance abuse also saw a sharp increase. The demand for services of all types continues to be in high demand.
Historically, mental health has been surrounded by stigma. While it is acceptable to seek help for our physical health, some people may not seek treatment due to concerns about being treated differently, facing discrimination, or fear losing their jobs and friends.
During May mental health agencies and organizations will be raising awareness about mental health screenings and treatment options through campaigns on television, radio, in print and on social media. The idea is to let people know they are not alone in their struggle and offer ways to get help.
If you or anyone you know are in need or are seeking help for their mental health, below are links to organizations that provide information on services.
- NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI)
- MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION
- MIRAVISTA BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CENTER
- BEHAVIORAL HEALTH NETWORK (BHN)
- CENTER FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (CHD)
- GANDARA CENTER
- DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS