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Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place from October 6 – 12, 2019. This year, October 10 is World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day.

2019 Theme: 7 Days, 7 Ways

Many people do not seek treatment in the early stages of mental illnesses because they don't recognize the symptoms.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, MHA will focus on sharing information about 7 major mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression (On October 10 to coincide with World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day)
  • PTSD
  • Addiction/Substance Use Disorder

Each condition coincides with a free screening tool MHA offers at Taking a mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Screening helps catch problems early - B4Stage4

A screening only takes a few minutes, and after you are finished you will be given information about the next steps you should take based on the results. A screening is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with your doctor or a loved one about your mental health. Screening for mental health conditions should be just as normal as screening for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic health condition.

Not only are we sharing information about mental health conditions each day of the week, but we will also share 7 ways to start getting involved with mental health awareness and advocacy!

How Can I Get Involved?

  1. Learn. Start by reading up about different mental health conditions. You can also hear stories of what mental illness feels like from those with lived experience here. Then, take a look at our 7 ways to get involved for Mental Illness Awareness Week!
  2. Take a mental health screen and encourage others to try. Each of the conditions mentioned above also coincides with a mental health screen, and each condition-specific fact you share can direct people to screening at
  3. Spread the word. Post images (click here for MHA's social media graphics) providing tips for ways people can get involved with mental health advocacy, awareness, and education, or address a specific condition.
  4. Create your own message! You may also use the statistics below to create your own social media posts or add to your organizations e-newsletters or other materials.

    General Statistics
    • Nearly 1 in 5 American adults will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.
    • 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.
    • 74%of people who take a screen at score positive or show moderate to severe signs of a mental health condition.
    • 78% of people who take the alcohol or substance use screen at are likely to have a substance use disorder.
    • 72% of people who take the anxiety screen at show signs of moderate to severe anxiety.

Thank you for being a part of this movement!

Sample Social Media Posts to Share

Hashtags to use for social media: #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways

Day to Post Topic Sample posts for social media
Any day during Mental Illness Awareness Week General promotion
  • This week is #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek! This year, we're sharing facts about #mentalhealth conditions and ways you can get involved through Mental Health America's #7days7ways campaign! Learn more: [] #MIAW19
  • October 6 - 12 is #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek! Join me for the #7days7ways campaign hosted by Mental Health America. I'm sharing facts about #mentalhealth and ways to fight back against stigma. Learn more: [] #MIAW19
Day 1  Anxiety
  • Most people experience feelings of anxiety. Anxiety disorders, however, go farther than what's expected. Taking a screen at can help determine if you're experiencing an anxiety disorder. 
    #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways

  • To be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, a person would worry much more than is normally expected and they spend much of their time bothered by their worry. Learn more: [] #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways

  • Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in America. 21% of American adults live with a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Learn more: []
    #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways
Day 2 Bipolar Disorder
  • People with bipolar disorder experience extended periods of extreme high energy and mood called mania, and extended periods of extreme low energy and mood called depression. Learn more: []
    #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways
  • With bipolar disorder, periods of mania and depression can last weeks or even months. Experiencing 4+ of these episodes within a year is called “rapid cycling.” Learn more for #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek: [] #MIAW19 #7day7ways
  • More than 3.3 million American adults are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in a given year. An estimated 4.4% of U.S. adults experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives. Learn more for #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek: []  #MIAW19 #7day7ways
Day 3 Psychosis
  • Psychosis is a general term to describe a set of symptoms of mental illnesses that result in strange or bizarre thinking, perceptions (sight, sound), behaviors, and emotions. Psychosis is a brain-based condition that is made better or worse by environmental factors - like drug use and stress.
  • Conditions that have psychosis as a main symptom are referred to as psychotic disorders; however, psychosis may also occur as a feature of other disorders like bipolar or major depression.
  • One frequently cited statistic is that 1% of the population is diagnosed with schizophrenia in their lifetime, but actually 3.5% of the population experiences psychosis. Hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there are more common than we think. While these experiences can be scary and confusing, it is possible to recover and getting better, especially when we tackle issues early - Before Stage Four.
Day 4 Eating Disorders
  • People struggling with an eating disorder often become obsessed with food, body image and/or weight. These disorders can be life-threatening if not recognized and treated appropriately. The earlier a person receives treatment, the greater the likelihood of full recovery.
  • Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder), are bio-psycho-social diseases - not fads, phases or lifestyle choices.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and the longer they go undiagnosed, the more difficult they are to treat. Learn more: [] #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways
  • In the US, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Learn more: [] #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways
Day 5 Depression
  • October 10 is World Mental Health Day and National Depression Screening Day.
  • Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages experience depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • In a #b4stage4 world, screening is the first step in intervention for people with symptoms of mental health conditions like depression. Screening provides them with knowledge and resources before they reach a point of crisis, so they can lead hopeful, meaningful lives.
Day 6 PTSD
  • For many people, symptoms of PTSD begin almost right away after the trauma happens. Trauma doesn’t go away on its own. It can last a lifetime. And it can be deadly.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur as a response to experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Examples of events might include military combat, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, car accidents, or ongoing childhood abuse or neglect. Experts think that PTSD occurs because the brain changes in the aftermath of traumatic events.
  • Where trauma is concerned, we can’t ignore the long-term. We can’t continue just to do more of the same if we want to make a difference. Widespread mental health screening would be a start. Level 1 trauma center to address injuries to mental health
  • in the event of major disasters and tragedies would be a start. We need to break the cycle of trauma. And we need to break it now.
Day 7 Addiction/Substance Use Disorder
  • There are many reasons why people decide to drink and use drugs. But the increasing use of drugs and drinking can come with serious risk and devastating consequences.
  • Substance abuse affects an estimated 25 million Americans. In terms of people who are affected indirectly such as families of abusers and those injured or killed by intoxicated drivers, an additional 40 million people are affected. The monetary cost to society and the economy because of reduced productivity, property damage, accidents, and health care are astounding.
  • Alcoholism (heavy drinking) afflicts 16 million adults and almost 300,000 children annually. Learn more: [] #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways
  • An estimated 21.6 million Americans (age 12 and older) are addicted to other drugs such as sedative-hypnotics or barbiturates, opiates, sedatives, hallucinogens and psychostimulants. Learn more: [] #MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #MIAW19 #7day7ways

Click here to download our social media graphics for Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019!