Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week


Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition — but mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. That is why each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness, fight discrimination and provide support.

We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss all year, but MIAW provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as MIAW in recognition of NAMI's efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, each year advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.

MIAW 2023

This year’s MIAW will center the theme “Together We Care. Together We Share.” This campaign speaks to the impact of NAMI’s support resources. It conveys the power of coming together in community, which can be healing as people gather to share their experiences. Our hope is that, through this campaign, we can spread awareness of two of NAMI’s major support resources: NAMI Support Groups and the new NAMI Teen and Young Adult HelpLine.

How To Engage Online with MIAW

Promote NAMI Support Groups

Share our promotional materials with your networks and get the word out about NAMI’s free support groups.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, please refer to these images and graphics you can use on your website and social media accounts.

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2023


Promote the NAMI Teen and Young Adult HelpLine

The new NAMI Teen & Young Adult (T&YA) HelpLine offers a direct connection with another young person who shares similar experiences and is prepared to offer information, resources, and support to help you or someone you know move through difficult times to a better place.

Learn More


Order NAMI’s First Book: “You Are Not Alone”

“You Are Not Alone,” NAMI’s first ever book, is here to offer help. Written by Dr. Ken Duckworth with the expertise of a leading psychiatrist and the empathy of a family member affected by mental illness, this comprehensive guide includes stories from over 130 people who have been there — including people with mental illness and caregivers — and understand how challenging it can be to find the help you need, when you need it. Their stories are what makes this book different from your typical mental health guide.

The book covers how to get help, pathways to recovery, the intersection of culture and mental health, and many more important topics to guide any person’s mental health journey. NAMI’s hope is that this guide can help people find that key help and support sooner and make recovery more accessible to those trying to find it.

You Are Not Alone

Order your copy of the book today or for bulk purchases, visit Porchlight- You Are Not Alone.

Order Today


Share MIAW Video Series

Please check out our library of spots available for your use here.

Share Key Fast Facts

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness (SMI) each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • Annual prevalence of mental illness among U.S. adults, by demographic group:
    • Non-Hispanic Asian: 16.4%
    • Non-Hispanic white: 23.9%
    • Non-Hispanic Black or African American: 21.4%
    • Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native: 26.6%
    • Non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial: 34.9%
    • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 18.1%
    • Hispanic or Latino: 20.7%
    • Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 50.9%
  • Annual prevalence among U.S. adults, by condition:
    • Major Depressive Episode: 8.3% (21 million people)
    • Schizophrenia: <1% (estimated 1.5 million people)
    • Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (estimated 7 million people)
    • Anxiety Disorders: 19.1% (estimated 48 million people)
    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 3.6% (estimated 9 million people)
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2% (estimated 3 million people)
    • Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.4% (estimated 3.5 million people)
  • 47.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2021
  • 65.4% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2021
  • Annual treatment rates among U.S. adults with any mental illness, by demographic group:
    • Male: 40%
    • Female: 51.7%
    • Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 55.6%
    • Non-Hispanic Asian: 25.4%
    • Non-Hispanic white: 52.4%
    • Non-Hispanic Black or African American: 39.4%
    • Non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial: 52.2%
    • Hispanic or Latino: 36.1%
  • 164 million people live in a designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Area



Join our movement to advocate for a better mental health care system by signing up for advocacy alerts and taking action when opportunities arise in your community.


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