May is Mental Health Month

As you may know, May is Mental Health Month. Since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates across the country have led the observance of May as Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings.

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), although 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.

As part of the month’s observance, a special week has been designated for children. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is observed May 3-9, 2021. Addressing the mental health needs of this vulnerable population is the responsibility of everyone in a child’s circle of influence, including parents, teachers, coaches, doctors, and other community leaders.

One of the leading causes of suicide attempts across all ages is depression. Mental or addictive disorders are associated with 90% of suicides. In 2019, the most recent figures available, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 – 24 in the Volunteer State. In a survey conducted by the CDC, 19.2% of Tennessee High School youth said they had “seriously considered suicide within the last 12 months.”