May is Mental Health Month

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mental Health Month Logo

Do you know someone who suffers from depression, anxiety, or substance use issues?  If you answered no, you’re probably wrong.  According to Mental Health America’s report, The State of Mental Health in America 2016, nearly 20 percent of U.S adults reported suffering from a mental illness and almost 10 percent of youth (ages 12-17) reported suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year.  

Older adults are not immune from mental health issues. The World Health Organization and AARP estimate that while one in five older adults suffer from a mental disorder, older adults are more likely to receive inappropriate or inadequate treatment.  For example, depression is often overlooked and untreated in older adults because it occurs alongside another condition or problem.

May is Mental Health Month and this year’s theme, Life with a Mental Illness, is meant to break down negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses by letting people share their own experiences. People are encouraged to share what life with a mental illness is like using the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike.  Organizations and individuals can download campaign toolkits, including social media graphics and sample newsletter articles and press releases, from the Mental Health America website.

Mental Health America offers a comprehensive collection of fact sheets on mental health topics including, older adults and depression, caregiving for someone with a mental illness, anxiety in older adults, and coping with loss. 

Explore linkages between mental health and aging services during Mental Health Month


Older adults with untreated mental illness can have physical consequences, including slower recovery from hip fractures and a higher risk for developing chronic conditions. View the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging’s list of helpful resources for addressing common mental health issues that affect older adults.

Download the resource list | View a webinar on Mental Health and Aging Coalitions  (source: National Council on Aging)