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Letter: Mental Health Awareness

Deseret News - 5/10/2019

In America today, approximately 45-47 million, or 1 out of 5 Americans, is suffering with a mental health issue; and approximately 1 in 25 adults is currently experiencing a serious mental illness that substantially interferes with one or more major life activities. Sadly, the rate of suicide is at a 30-year high.

While more individuals are accessing care, an astounding 9 million are struggling with unmet needs. These are our friends, colleagues, neighbors and perhaps our own family members. As CEO of Center for Change, my staff and I have the privilege of serving many members of our community who are experiencing some of the most challenging times of their lives – mental illnesses that are often invisible to the casual observer in ways that physical illnesses are not.

May is Mental Health Awareness month, providing an important opportunity for reflection and collective action to address barriers, including the ongoing stigma and stereotypes preventing many individuals from getting the care they need.

Each of us can play a positive role to improve the lives of the millions of Americans suffering from mental health challenges, not just during this month, but every month in every community across the country.

Nicole Hawkins


CREDIT: Nicole Hawkins