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  • illustration of a brain with the saying: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Fostering awareness through education

    By Rachele Strober

    Mental Health Awareness Month began in 1949 – established by Mental Health America – as a way to increase awareness and reduce stigmas associated with mental health issues, as well as promote the vital role that mental health plays in overall health. As a leader in global education, Pearson recognizes our unique responsibility to support and raise awareness for important issues like this one.

    Mental Health vs. Mental Disorder

    The CDC defines mental health as “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.”1 Everyone can take action to improve their own mental health.

    Mental illness or mental disorder is a diagnosable condition. A mental health professional can help to diagnosis a disorder and may look at things including symptoms, severity, and length of time to make the diagnosis.

    The Numbers Tell the Story

    While exact numbers may be challenging to find, it is estimated that millions of Americans are living with a mental health issue. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), within the United States 1 in 5 adults encounter a mental health issue each year with 1 in 20 experiencing a serious issue each year. 1 in 6 within the ages of 6-17 experience a mental health issue each year.2 And a recent survey done by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) shows that mental health treatment has increased over the last three years. 3 The map below highlights impact across the United States. Chances are you know someone that may be affected by or struggling with a mental health issue. So, for yourself or for someone in your life, educating yourself on mental health issues is important.