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Fact Sheet: Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month | Graphic by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

Since 1949, Mental Health America has recognized May as Mental Health Month to spread awareness of the importance of visibility and education. Here is a quick fact sheet about mental health. 


Each year, one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness.

According to the 2020 national survey on drug use and health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the population that experiences mental illness mostly ranges from 18-year-olds to 25-year-olds. 

There are many types of mental disorders.

The World Health Organization defines a mental disorder as a disturbance in cognition, emotional, regulation or behavior. WHO recognizes anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, schizophrenia, dissocial disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and multiple others as mental disorders. 

Nearly 7% of adults in the United States experience mental illness concurrently with substance use disorders. 

According to the SAMHSA 2020 national survey, 6.7% or 17 million people experienced any form of mental disorder at the same time as experiencing a substance use disorder, with 5.7 million people experiencing a serious mental disorder concurrently with substance use disorders.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between 10 and 14 years of age.

Suicide is a major public health concern and is rising in some populations, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In a leading causes of death report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that suicide claimed 45,900 lives in 2020.

People with depression have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that people with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing diseases of the heart and metabolism. Serious mental illnesses increase this chance of developing later conditions. 


For those struggling with mental illness, Wright State University Counseling and Wellness offers multiple therapeutic services. For more information, visit the CWS website

The Raider Cares hotline is a 24-hour crisis phone service at 937-775-4567. CWS also offers self help resources through TAO Connect and an anonymous, peer-to-peer mental health community through Togetherall.   

Dayton Children’s Hospital offers a directory for mental health providers that readers can also use to find the nearest and most accessible location for treatment.

Alexis Lewis


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