Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. Despite mental illnesses’ reach and prevalence, stigma and misunderstanding are also, unfortunately, widespread.

That is why each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness. Each year, we educate the public, fight stigma and provide support. And each year, our movement grows stronger.

We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. Since 1990, when Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.

MIAW 2020

The theme of this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week is, “What People with Mental Illness Want You to Know.” Throughout the week, we will be raising the voices of those with lived experience to talk about some of the conditions and symptoms that are most misunderstood. 

Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 4 – 10 and coincides with additional related events:

  • Tuesday Oct. 6: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • Thursday Oct. 8: National Depression Screening Day
  • Saturday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day
  • Saturday Oct. 10: NAMIWalks National Day of Hope

You Are Not Alone

NAMI continues our year-long awareness campaign, You Are Not Alone, to feature the stories of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever, the mental health community must come together and show that no one is ever really alone. No one should be without the information, support, connection and help they need.

Resources

Additional information, resources and graphics to support Mental Illness Awareness Week will be added leading up to MIAW 2020. Additional stats, infographics and resources can also be found at Mental Health by the Numbers.

Care builds communities where compassion, experience and support let people build better lives. Help us provide information, support and resources to millions of people.