We can’t let May end without acknowledging the importance of Mental Health Awareness!

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! We join and support the efforts to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and the prevalence of mental illness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, at varying degrees. NAMI acknowledges that nearly every American is impacted of affected by mental illness through a friend or family member, and we are all responsible for supporting our loved ones, fighting stigma, and raising awareness.

More than 46 million people in this country suffer from some type of mental health disorder, yet there is still exists considerable widespread misconceptions and negative perceptions about mental illness. This contributes to significant stigma, which creates an environment of shame, fear, and isolation. Stigma may prevent people from seeking help and ultimately impede people from healing. People need to be supported to seek treatment and to develop a healthy support networks, free from judgment and negative perceptions of others.

NAMI reminds us that stigma can be cured. Compassion, empathy, and understanding are essential for combatting stigma and creating a cultural shift. We all must be a part of this change!

If you are struggling emotionally, please do not hesitate to seek support. If someone you care about is suffering, please encourage them or assist them in seeking support:

NAMI Seattle provides educational courses and support to those living with mental illness as well as their family and friends, and operates a mental health referral and information Helpline to connect callers to the support and resources they need. Please contact (206) 783-9264 or (800) 782-9264 for the NAMI Helpline.

If you or someone you know is in CRISIS, please do not waste any time! CALL FOR HELP IMMEDIATELY. If the crisis is life threatening, please contact 9-1-1. If the crisis is not life-threatening or if you are seeking help outside of regular NAMI office hours, please contact one of the following crisis hotlines:

Suicide Hotlines:     800-273-TALK • 800-273-8255  / 800-SUICIDE • 800-784-2433

Crisis Clinic 24-Hour Crisis Line:    866-427-4747

National Runaway Switchboard:   800-RUNAWAY • 800-786-2929

National Child Abuse Hotline:    800-422-4453

National Sexual Assault Hotline:   800-656-HOPE • 800-656-4673

National Domestic Violence Hotline:  800-799-7233