Waking Up to Mental Health Awareness


Caroline Kerns

Mental Health Word Cloud.

Caroline Kerns, Staff Writer

Millions of people globally are affected by mental illness. In America, an estimated one out of five adults experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI). 

Studies from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have shown that 50% of mental disorders develop by the age of 14, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aging from 15 to 24, according to nami.org. In May of every year, mental health awareness is vocalized in a Mental Health Awareness Month. “Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families,” according to NAMI.org. 

By spreading awareness in schools and in kids’ and adults’ everyday lives, we can impact people who struggle with mental disorders by showing compassion. Supporting people who are struggling encourages them to ask for help with their problems. Organizations such as NAMI and The American Psychiatric Association help spread awareness for the subject that most people are uncomfortable talking about.

When asked what she wanted people to know about mental health, Mrs. Olmstead, McAuliffe Middle School’s counselor, responded, “There can be mental health problems at any time.” Meaning that mental health issues can occur at any time in your life. 

Beginning in July 2018, New York was the first state in the nation to require mental health education as a concept for all students. The general mission of New York’s School Mental Health program is to promote healthy social, emotional and behavioral evolvement of students. It can also “break down barriers to learning so the general well-being of students, families, and school staff can be enhanced in collaboration with other comprehensiv

e student support and services.”