It's Mental Health Awareness Week: 1 out of 5 U.S. Adults Are Living With Mental Illness

By Marissa Gold

It's Mental Health Awareness Week, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness wants everyone in the country to declare #IAmStigmaFree.

Every year, approximately one in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness — 43.7 million people, according to the latest statistics. Yet despite such high numbers, NAMI found that nearly 60 percent of adults with mental illness did not receive any treatment or medical help last year.

When we talk about mental illness — something we don't, as a society, do enough — that conversation includes common conditions like depression and anxiety. And it's high time we talked about it more: Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. "experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities," says NAMI. For some people, interference can mean anxiety that keeps you up at night and prevents you from sleeping. Or depression that caused you to lose a relationship or a job. 

This week, NAMI is asking people to take the #IAmStigmaFree pledge on its site — an online agreement to be open-minded and caring when it comes to mental illness. Take the pledge, tweet the hashtag, or simply as a friend how she's doing.

If you feel like you're going through something that requires help, visit this site to find a local center that offers anonymous mental health screenings. You can also take this online questionnaire.

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