May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it has been observed in the US since 1949. This is a time to shed some light on mental health issues and educate the public about: mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder;[12] the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. In addition, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses. This year the theme for Mental Health Awareness month is "Back to Basic", with the goal of providing "foundational knowledge about mental health and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern. Below are 7 quick facts about mental health in the US:

Here are some quick facts:

  1. 21% of all U.S. adults live with a mental health condition.
  2. The prevalence of mental health conditions is highest among adults reporting two or more races (35.8%).
  3. 46%of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at sometime in their life.
  4. Children who experience trauma are approximately 1.3 times more likely to develop a mental health condition as adults than children who don’t experience trauma.
  5. Studies have found children of parents with generalized anxiety disorder (gad) to be 2-6 times as likely as other children to receive a gad diagnosis.
  6. The brain chemical dopamine, sometimes known as “the feel-good neurotransmitter,” is what allows you to feel pleasure and motivation. when the brain’s dopamine system is not working as it is meant to, it has been linked to schizophrenia symptoms.
  7. Individuals who frequently drink alcohol are more likely to be depressed than those who moderate their use. Drinking in moderation is defined as one drink or less in a day for women and two drinks or less in a day for men.

Mental health is important for all of us. Taking care of yourself is critical to prevent your mental health from worsening – factors like nutrition and gut health, stress, sleep, relationships, trauma, and more can contribute to poor mental health. If you're concerned about your mental health or just want to check in with yourself, take a screen at mhascreening.org.