Each May, the National Council observes Mental Health Awareness Month, a national event to bring attention to the importance of mental health. To help raise awareness in your community, we compiled publications, toolkits, original content and other learning materials for you to take advantage of throughout the month. Help us spread the word through awareness and advocacy!
Here are three things you can do right now to help spread awareness and advocate to expand access to mental health and substance use care:
- Contact your elected officials and urge them to address the behavioral health workforce shortage crisis.
- Sign up to receive updates and opportunities to advocate for better access to mental health and substance use care nationwide.
- Utilize the following resources to learn about expanding access to care and show your support on social media.
Facts & Figures
Learn more about mental health and substance use in America:
- One in five adults (57.8 million adults) in the U.S. experienced mental illness in 2021.
- 46.3 million people aged 12 or over had a substance use disorder in 2021.
- 47.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2021.
- 65.4% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2021.
- 33.5% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2021 (19.4 million individuals).
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 and the third leading cause of death among those aged 15-24 in the U.S.
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- At least 4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue.
- The average delay between symptom onset and treatment for mental illness is 11 years.
- 3 million Americans live in recovery after some form of substance use challenge.
- Three out of four people who experience addiction eventually recover.
Mental Health Resources
Learn about resources for accessing care:
- FindTreatment.gov: The confidential and anonymous resource for people seeking treatment for mental and substance use disorders in the U.S. and its territories.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, as well as best practices for professionals in the U.S.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: A national organization that provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.
- The Trevor Project: 24/7 crisis support services to LGBTQ+ young people. Text, chat or call anytime to reach a trained counselor.
Learn more about increasing access to care:
- 2022 Access to Care Survey: Explore barriers to care contributing to significant unmet need.
- Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC): Learn about the innovative CCBHC model, its nationwide expansion and how CCBHCs are expanding access to care.
- Behavioral Health Workforce is a National Crisis: Immediate Policy Actions for States
- The Comprehensive Healthcare Integration (CHI) Framework
Learn about the behavioral health workforce shortage and the need for policy solutions:
- New Study: Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage Will Negatively Impact Society
- Key Findings Infographic
- Shareable Social Media Graphics (.zip download)
Learn more about substance use treatment:
- State Models for Addressing Opioid Use Disorders: Recovery Support in Integrated Care Settings
- Establishing Peer Support Services for Overdose Response: A Toolkit for Health Departments
- Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Stakeholder Analysis: A Summary of Findings
- Oral Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Toolkit
- Overdose Prevention in Community Corrections: An Environmental Scan
- Wellbeing Wednesdays – Episode 6: Federal Solutions to Overcome the Nation’s Overdose Crisis
- Wellbeing Wednesdays – Episode 8: Alcohol Use Disorder: Our Nation’s Hidden Epidemic
Learn more about achieving health equity:
- Access for Everyone: Addressing Health Equity and Racial Justice within Integrated Care Settings
- Addressing Disparities in Access and Utilization of Mental Health and Substance Use Services Among Blacks and African Americans
- Addressing Health Equity and Racial Justice
- MDI Conversations – Episode 1: Historical Trauma, Mass Violence and Healing
- MDI Conversations – Episode 2: Social Injustice, Structural Trauma and Community Violence
- Social Justice Leadership Academy Workbook ($120)
- Suicide in U.S. Black and African American Communities: Fact Sheet
- Wellbeing Wednesdays – Episode 7: Advancing Health Equity
Take advantage of our learning opportunities:
- Connect with a National Council consultant to boost your service delivery
- Explore our video playlists on YouTube
- Read the National Council’s blog for best practices, insights and tips
- Register for an upcoming National Council learning opportunity
- View our virtual learning episodes with subject matter experts
Mental Health First Aid Resources
Learn more about Mental Health First Aid (MHFA):
Follow the Conversation
Follow the National Council on social media:
- Facebook: @TheNationalCouncil
- LinkedIn: National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Follow Mental Health First Aid on social media:
States with Mental Health Month Proclamations
The Biden-Harris Administration published a proclamation on Mental Health Awareness Month, honoring the tens of millions of Americans living with mental health conditions and celebrating the loved ones and mental health professionals who are there for them every day. Check out the below map to see where governors are officially declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month across the country: