Why Is Being Aware of Our Mental Health So Important?

Statistics show that nearly 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness [1]. Of those who have a mental illness, more than half do not receive the help they need [2]. The misconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health are one of the reasons why many people’s illnesses go untreated. By promoting mental health awareness, more people may be more open to getting treatment. As we explore this critical issue, we will take a closer look at some of the stigmas people with a mental health condition may face, as well as how Healing Foundations Center can help.

What is Mental Health Awareness?

Mental health awareness is the effort to reduce the stigmas that surround mental health conditions and mental health illness by people sharing their experiences. When people share their experiences and concerns, it can help others to see that they are not alone and to receive the treatment they need.

The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

By raising awareness of mental health issues, people can see that they are not alone in their fight. When the walls surrounding mental illness are broken, it will allow more people to reach out when they feel alone and isolated.

Being aware of our mental health is so important because our mental health also impacts our social, emotional, and physical well-being. When we are feeling alone and depressed, we are less likely to want to exercise, socialize, and maybe even go to work. This can have a significant impact on our quality of life.

Recognize Symptoms

Mental health awareness is vital to help people not only receive the treatment they need but also to recognize their symptoms as being linked to a mental illness. Many times, people will brush off their feelings and think they will pass when, in reality, they continue to grow inside. This is unhealthy and creates a blockade to treatment.

Mental health awareness can also help people recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness in their family members or friends. If the person suffering is unaware, having someone from the outside recognize something wrong can lead to treatment.

Start Conversations

When people are more aware of mental health, it also helps to start conversations. People may be afraid to talk about mental health. But, when they do, it helps to educate everyone about the different types of mental health disorders and what can be done to treat them. People can see treatments available to help them feel better about themselves and lead more productive lives. As people around you become more aware of and understand your condition, it allows you to take better care of yourself and seek the help you need.

Lower Police Involvement

Police have been called in to deal with those who have a mental illness because they are perceived as violent. However, according to the American Psychiatric Association, many people with mental illness are not violent. It is including law enforcement in the situation that contributes to the stigma that they are [3].

One study found that people with untreated severe mental health conditions are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians [4]. By encouraging mental health awareness, more people can be educated about mental health before escalating the situation to the police.

Mental Health Stigmas That Can Be Harmful to Healing

The stigmas against mental health can prevent many people from getting the treatment they need to deal with their illness or recover from trauma. Mental health stigmas can develop from a lack of understanding or fear. This can portray a negative view of people who are fighting a mental health issue.

The American Psychiatric Association lists three different types of stigmas [3]. These are:

  • Public Stigma- Refers to the negative attitudes people have about mental illness
  • Self-Stigma -Involves the negative attitudes that people with mental illness have about their illness
  • Institutional Stigma- Involves private and government agencies limiting treatment options by taking action such as lowering the funding for mental illness research

Breaking these stigmas can help people know they are not alone with a mental illness. This can lead them to receive the necessary treatment rather than suffer silently. When people believe they are different from others or there is something wrong with them, they are more likely to isolate themselves rather than seek treatment.

For people recovering from trauma, mental health stigmas can put them in a dangerous position if they are preventing them from getting treatment. Seeking treatment for trauma is crucial because unhealed trauma can impact relationships and quality of life. When left untreated, the impact of trauma can lead to mental health disorders and other severe health problems. This is one of the many reasons why mental health awareness and fighting mental health stigmas is so essential.

Seek Mental Health Treatment at Healing Foundations Center

At Healing Foundations Center, we provide various mental health treatment options to help patients cope with their specific illnesses. We help people who are battling depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and more. Seeking treatment with us can help people overcome challenges and better manage their lives.

To learn more about the available services at Healing Foundations Center, call us today or reach out to us online.



[1] https://www.nami.org/nami/media/nami-media/infographics/generalmhfacts.pdf

[2] https://mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america

[3] https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/stigma-and-discrimination

[4] https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/reports_publications/overlooked-in-the-undercounted-the-role-of-mental-illness-in-fatal-law-enforcement-encounters/