Speak up, and speak out!

NAMI works every day to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illness. The month of May is a time when we can join forces with individuals, local agencies and community groups to make a bigger statement by observing Mental Health Month. Each year NAMI provides support, educates the public and advocates for equal care for the millions of Americans affected by illness—and each year the movement grows stronger. In 2013, President Obama proclaimed May as National Mental Health Awareness Month and brought the issue of mental health to the forefront of our thoughts. In addition, Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is May 4 – 10. May 8th marks Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. In honor of the many children who are in need of assistance, please encourage your local schools to provide information and education on mental health issues in the classroom. This is one way we can help our children and begin to end the silence that surrounds these very common illnesses. Highlighting mental health issues during May provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the 60 million Americans affected by mental illness. Together as a community, we need to be the champions of new ideas, education and supports that improve both treatment and life outcomes for everyone who lives with mental illness. May is a time when we can embrace and advance this bold vision for the sake of our loved ones, ourselves and the one in four adults and one in 10 children affected by mental illness every year in the United States. We encourage you to speak up and speak out this month whether on your own or with NAMI. Together we can make a difference. Denise Edwards, LSW, NAMI DKK E.D. Mary Giliberti, J.D., NAMI E.D.