Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

Each year in May, Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is acknowledging the month with the campaign, More Than Enough. The message behind this campaign is that we each hold inherent value, regardless of our appearance, abilities, social class, background, or mental health diagnosis. During the month of May, NAMI has campaigned on social media, in addition to hosting events, providing education, and advocating for quality mental health services. As this month comes to a close, learn how you can get involved, and continue to stay involved, in the fight for quality treatment for individuals who live with mental illness. 

The Importance of Awareness

While it has always been important to advocate for quality mental health treatment, the distress that came with the COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness of the need to support mental health at a community-wide, and national, level. It is no secret that the prevalence of mental health disorders increased during the pandemic. In fact, quality data indicates that the prevalence of depression and anxiety rose 1.3 to 1.5 times during the pandemic, when compared to the pre-pandemic era. Older adults, individuals belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups, and those with less than a college education were particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. 

The most recent data from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that as of 2021, over one in five U.S. adults lived with a mental health condition, equating to 57.8 million adults impacted by mental illness. The data also reveals the following mental health statistics: 


  • 22.8% of U.S. adults have any form of mental illness, with females (27.2% prevalence) being more likely to be affected than males (18.1% prevalence). 
  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 are most likely to live with mental illness, with a prevalence of 33.7% in this population.
  • The highest rate of any mental illness was among adults who identify as belonging to two or more races (34.9% prevalence).
  • 5.5% of U.S. adults had a serious mental illness, resulting in significant impairment in daily living. The rate of serious mental illness is highest for females, young adults aged 18-25, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives. 


Despite the high prevalence of mental illness in the United States, under half of people with a mental health disorder receive treatment. Treatment-seeking is lower among men compared to women, and in younger adults when compared to those in older age groups. Barriers to accessing mental health treatment include:


  • Lack of available services
  • Transportation limitations
  • Lack of insurance and other financial resources 
  • Stigma and negative attitudes toward seeking treatment 


Given the high prevalence of mental illness, combined with the relatively low rates of treatment-seeking, it’s critical that we take steps to reduce stigma and other barriers to accessing quality mental health care. 

How You Can Become Involved 

Recognizing the importance of mental health advocacy is the first step in making a difference. If you’re ready to get involved, consider the tips below.

  1. Use social media to spread the word. 

NAMI encourages advocates to use their voices to advocate via social media. Share your own experience with mental illness, or remind others of the importance of seeking care, with a social media post. Be sure to tag @NAMICommunicate and use the hashtag, #MoreThanEnough. NAMI also offers graphics that you can download and share to call attention to mental health advocacy. 

  1. Participate in NAMIWalks. 

NAMI hosts walks in cities across the country to advocate for mental health treatment and raise funds for mental health advocacy. Visit NAMI’s website to locate a walk in your area. These events will take place throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, and at other times of the year. 

  1. Encourage a loved one to seek treatment. 

Individuals who live with symptoms of a mental health disorder may not always reach out for help. Perhaps they are fearful of negative judgment, or they don’t know where to turn. If a friend or family member is struggling with their own mental health, encouraging them to reach out for professional help can go a long way. They’ll feel a sense of support, and your encouragement will help them to realize that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. 

  1. Set a positive example. 

Setting an example by caring for your own mental health is important, during both Mental Health Awareness Month and all the other months of the year. Whether this means setting healthy boundaries, practicing meditation, taking time for self-care, or working with a therapist, when you prioritize your own mental health, someone who is suffering may follow your lead. 

  1. Take part in a local (or national) event. 

There are plenty of ways to get involved in mental health awareness events, both during the month of May, and throughout the year. From May 24-27, 2023, NAMI is hosting NAMICon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This convention will include over 50 sessions aimed at providing education and advocacy around mental health. A virtual version will be available via Zoom from June 6-8, 2023. 

For those in the Los Angeles region, Mental Health Awareness Month 2023 will wrap up with numerous events. Some of these events will continue into the Summer months. For instance, beginning May 28, Lovelace Theater at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will feature theatrical performances by individuals with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities. On May 27, at the Carson Event Center, community members can attend Take Action for Black Males, an event that will include Black men and women, and clinical professionals, in mental health awareness discussions. Fast forward to June, and on June 10, the Carson Event Center will host A Mother’s Love to celebrate mother’s mental health with games, food, and panel discussions. 

For those seeking depression treatment in Southern California, Pulse TMS offers services for individuals living with treatment-resistant depression. This non-invasive treatment modality uses a device placed over the head to gently stimulate areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. If you haven’t experienced relief of depression symptoms with medication and talk therapy, you may be a candidate for TMS. Contact Pulse TMS today to learn more. 

Article By: admin-pulsetms