How much attention will Mental Illness Awareness week get?

As I watch the NFL and see the football players and refs wear pink for an entire month to raise awareness of breast cancer, I have to wonder what will be done by anyone in regards to Mental Health Awareness week get?

  • An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people. ( Reference1)
  • Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lives ( and in the United States, it is estimated that approximately 40,000 women will die from breast cancer. (Reference2)
  • It has been reported that over 1 million people in the world commit suicide every year. More than 30,000 of these are said to be from the United States. (blurt it)
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old. (Reference3)
  •  In 1998, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 283,000 mentally ill individuals were incarcerated in U.S. jails and prisons. (Reference4)
  • In the United States, the annual economic, indirect cost of mental illness is estimated to be $79 billion. Most of that amount—
    approximately $63 billion—reflects the loss of productivity as a result of illnesses. Reference5
  • Over 50 percent of students with a mental disorder age 14 and older drop out of high school—the highest dropout rate of any
    disability group. Reference6

Do you see a problem with how much attention is given to mental illness awareness week?

Please pass on the word that the week of October 7-13, 2012 is Mental Health Awareness week.

For more information, please visit

Found on NAMI’s site:

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2012: Oct. 7-13, 2012

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since 1990, mental health advocates across the country have joined together during the first full week of October in sponosoring many kinds of activities.

MIAW has become a NAMI tradition. It presents an opportunity to all NAMI state organizations and affiliates across the country to work together in communities to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy.

The MIAW Idea Book suggests activities that can be incorporated into planning for the fall. Stickers, posters and a web banner to use on websites or in documents are available for download in English and Spanish.

The National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Special resources for outreach to faith communities also can be downloaded.

Start your MIAW preparation now and begin changing attitudes, changing lives!



About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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