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May is Mental Health Awareness Month


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with the many challenges we have been faced with over the past year, there has been a significant increase in mental health challenges, from increases in depression and anxiety to a serious increase in the number of attempted and completed suicides. During this month of Mental Health Awareness it is more important than ever to be aware of not only the mental health challenges being experienced but to know that there is help and assistance available to help you through these challenges.  


Taking care of our mental health is important. We must remind ourselves to make time for ourselves and check up on one another. We also need to practice self-care, because it is an important component of maintaining mental health for children, adults, and families.

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Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization. Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses.

10 Surprising Mental Health Statistics from 2020

By Morgan Solomon-Maynard from


Mental health and substance use challenges look different for each person affected. No challenge or diagnosis is exactly the same, and some mental health challenges can be difficult to recognize. It can be easy to generalize or make assumptions, but realities vary, and these challenges can impact more than you may think.

Studies show that mental health in the United States is worsening among all age groups. While this is because of a number of factors, one fact stands out: Many people are not receiving the treatment they deserve. Stigma around mental health and lack of access to care are driving many people away from getting the care they need.

Over the years, a great deal of work has started to reduce the stigma of mental health and there’s been progress in making these conversations feel “normal.” Today, as COVID-19 has impacted all of us in different ways, discussions around mental health are becoming increasingly common, and more people are reaching out for help.

Check out these statistics to better understand what mental health and substance use challenges look like in 2020:

  1. In late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

  2. One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.

  3. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

  4. Depression alone costs the nation about $210.5 billion annually.

  5. The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.

  6. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S. and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

  7. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

  8. More than 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.

  9. Transgender adults are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

  10. The most common mental illnesses in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults (18.1% of the population).


Mental health and substance use challenges affect everyone differently, and recognizing when to get help yourself or offer support to someone else is an important step in changing these statistics for the better.

Local Resources

Emergency Assistance

If you feel you, or someone you care about needs assistance in coping with mental health concerns, there is help available.  If you or someone is voicing thoughts of harming themselves or killing themselves, you should immediately call Heritage Behavioral Health Center at (217) 362-6262 and ask to speak with a crisis worker. 

Non-Emergency Assistance

For non-emergency assistance you can call Heritage Behavioral Health Center at (217) 362-6262 and ask to speak with someone about how you can begin to receive mental health services.  You can also call Crossing Health Care at (217) 877-9117 and ask to speak with someone about receiving mental health services.

Other Resources

Mental Health America (MHA)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

National Council for Mental Wellbeing

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (NFFCMH)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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