Mental Illness Awareness Week

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 then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

2015 Theme and Information

Each year Mental Illnees Awareness Week occurs during the first full week of October. This year it takes place between October 4–10. This year, the theme revolves around building a movement through the new StigmaFree initiative.

Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge.

The hashtag for the theme is #IAmStigmaFree.

What You Can Do

Why is MIAW important?

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the first full week of October, NAMI and participants across the country are bringing awareness to mental illness. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger.

We believe that these issues are important to address year round, but highlighting these issues during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of the tens of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available. Learn more and help yourself or someone you care about.

NAMI thanks Forest Laboratories, LLC., a subsidiary of Actavis, for being the National Sponsor of Mental Illness Awareness Week.