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Removing the Stigma of Mental Health this May

May 3, 2023

This May, Kenneth Kovacs shares about Mental Health Awareness Month, the stigma of mental illness, and ways to find support.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to recent estimates from Johns Hopkins, one in four US adults (26%) experience mental illness each year, while research from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that one in twenty live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (13.1 million).

Nearly 8 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness.

Researchers also estimate that half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

Yet despite these statistics, nearly 50% of people suffering from mental illnesses do not seek treatment.

On average, it takes 11 years for someone to seek help after first experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder.

This is attributed to the stigma associated with mental illness as well as underfunding for mental health care providers. The stigma surrounding mental health disorders, in particular, leads to many people hiding their struggles and avoiding getting the help they need. Many struggle in silence without receiving the necessary support needed to manage their condition, while others may not even realize they have an illness and continue to suffer despite its devastating effects on their lives.

As people of faith, we are called to offer compassion and support to those in need—and work to remove the stigma. If you are struggling or know someone who is, we are here to help and help you find the help that you need. Please feel free to contact Dorothy or me. In addition to listening ears, we have a variety of resources available for you. Here are two:

Suburban Crossroads Counseling Center in Catonsville is a good resource. The church has funds available for those without insurance. Read therapist biographies, a philosophy of care, and see insurance information by visiting the SCCC website.

Presbyterian Mental Health Network (PMHN) is a church-wide, independent grassroots network launched with the support of a mental health ministry grant. Its purpose is to facilitate networking, conversation, and the sharing of stories and models for mental health ministry across the church. Visit the PMHN homepage to sign up for their mailing list and to discover more information.

Take Action

Read more statistics and get informed from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Explore NAMI for online resources and to find resources for managing and treating mental health concerns.