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Mental Illness Awareness Week

An Incredible 51.5 million Adults or 20% Suffer from Mental Ailments

Mental health illness awareness week is a reflection of our national mental health crisis. Mental illnesses are common in the U.S. In 2019, 51.5 million adults (20% of the U.S. population) experienced some form of mental illness. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, these numbers have only worsened.  Mental illnesses include many distinct conditions that differ in severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe.  [1]   Of these adults who have a mental illness, only 43.3% sought treatment. Moreover, many suffering from mental health illnesses mask their emotional pain by abusing drugs and alcohol resulting in substance abuse secondary disorders.

Throughout the first week of October, Mental Illness Awareness Week allows advocates to educate the public on mental health conditions and conquer the social stigma around getting mental health care. Established by Congress in 1990, Mental Illness Awareness Week harmonizes with World Mental Health Day on October 10.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness each year.  Problems range from depression and anxiety to substance abuse.  [2]

It is heartbreaking knowing so many Americans are suffering from mental health disorders. What’s most disturbing is that so many of our community members do not receive the care they desperately need and deserve. That’s why the We Level Up treatment center has developed a college student rehab scholarship program. We hope this can be a start to helping others. Mental health illness awareness week is the ideal time to reflect on the help available to those suffering, said Ryan Zofay, founder of Level Up Development Series.

“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes.”

American Psychiatric Association  [3]

Mental health illness awareness week reminds us that, mental illnesses are among the most prevalent health conditions in the United States.  [4]

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their life.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness each year.
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or during their lifetime, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
Mental health awareness day
This year’s Mental health illness awareness week or MIAW is centered around our new awareness campaign, “Together for Mental Health,” where we will focus on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness (SMI). — National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Illness Awareness Week Facts

Psychological and physical health are equally important components of overall health.  For example, depression increases the risk of many physical health problems, remarkably stable ailments like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  Likewise, the presence of persistent conditions can double the risk for mental illness.

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect your reasoning, feeling, mood, and behavior.  They may be occasional or long-lasting.  They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day.  Character flaws do not cause mental illnesses.  Mental illnesses have nothing to do with being lazy or weak.

Two general classifications can be used to specify certain conditions:  Any Mental Illness or AMI and Serious Mental Illness or SMI.  AMI encompasses all identified mental illnesses.  SMI is a smaller and more critical subset of AMI.

Any Mental Illness

Any mental illness (AMI) is described as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder.  AMI can range from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even critical impairment.

Serious Mental Illness

Serious mental illness (SMI) is a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in severe functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.  The burden of mental illnesses is mainly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.

There Are More Than 200 Kinds Of Mental Illness.  Some Common Disorders Include:

  • Anxiety Disorders, including Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Phobias
  • Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and other Mood Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychotic Disorders, including Schizophrenia

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is the basis for emotions, reasoning, communication, learning, resilience, and self-esteem.  Mental health is also core to relationships, personal and emotional well-being, and contributing to community or society.  Unfortunately, many people who have a mental illness do not want to speak about it.  But having a mental illness is something that you should not be ashamed of!  It is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes.  And like every other medical condition, mental health conditions are treatable.  

According to American Psychiatric Association, experts continually expand their understanding of how the human brain operates, and treatments are available to support people successfully handling mental health conditions.  [5]  And according to them, mental health means effective functioning in daily activities resulting in:

  • Productive activities (work, school, caregiving)
  • Healthy relationships
  • Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity
Mental Illness Awareness Week attempts to educate the public in hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

Mental Illnesses:

Refers collectively to all diagnosable mental illness — health conditions concerning:

Several Factors Can Contribute To Risk For Mental Illness, Such As: 

  • Your genes and family history.
  • Your life events, such as stress or a history of abuse, notably if they happen in childhood.
  • A traumatic brain injury.
  • Mother being exposed to viruses or toxic chemicals while pregnant.
  • Use of alcohol or recreational drugs.
  • Having a critical medical condition like cancer.
  • Having few friends and feelings of loneliness or isolated.
  • Events related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes.
Mental Illness Awareness Week's graph for people with mental illness and substance use disorder.
A person with a “dual diagnosis” has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. 

Mental Illness Awareness Week Coping Tips

 Sound Mental Health Can Be Promoted By Positive Things In Life Such As:

  • Having support from family, friends, and the society
  • Having a solid sense of identity and culture
  • Looking after your physical health by eating a healthy diet and exercising
  • Reducing stress if possible
  • Being optimistic
  • Developing ways of coping with life’s problems
  • Getting support

Warning Signs For Mental Illness Awareness Week

Discerning developing symptoms or early warning indications and taking action can help.  Early intervention can help diminish the severity of an illness.  It may even be likely to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether.

If several signs of the following are happening, it may be helpful to follow up with a mental health professional.  [6]

  • Sleep or Appetite Changes:  Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
  • Mood Changes:  Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions or depressed feelings
  • Withdrawal:  Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Drop-In Functioning:  An unusual drop in functioning at school, work, or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school, or difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • Problems In Thinking:  Problems with concentration, memory, or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain.
  • Increased Sensitivity:  Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells, or touch, avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
  • Apathy:  Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
  • Feeling Disconnected:  A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
  • Illogical Thinking:  Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; irrational or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
  • Nervousness:  Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
  • Unusual Behavior:  Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior

One or two of these symptoms alone cannot predict a mental illness but may indicate a need for further evaluation.  Suppose a person is experiencing several at one time, and the symptoms are causing severe problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others.  In that case, they should be seen by a physician or mental health professional.   For those suffering, why not make mental health illness awareness week a time to seek the help you deserve.

People with suicidal thoughts or intent or opinions of harming others need immediate attention.

Who Is At Risk For Mental Illness?

Mental health illness awareness week reminds us that mental health disorders are prevalent.  More than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some time in their life.

Getting A Diagnosis during Mental Illness Awareness Week

  • Review of medical records
  • If your healthcare provider examines that other medical conditions could be causing your symptoms, a physical exam and possible lab tests may be required
  • A Psychological Assessment:  You will answer questions about your thinking, feelings, and behaviors

Treatments For Mental Illness Awareness Week

EMDR Therapy
Mental illness is treatable.  Most individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives.

Treatment depends on which mental illness you have and how pressing it is.  You and your healthcare provider will work on a treatment plan just for you.  It typically involves some therapy.  You may also take medications.  Some people also need social support and learning on managing their condition.

In some cases, you may need a more intensive approach.  For instance, you may necessitate going to a psychiatric hospital.  This could be because your mental illness is severe.  Or it could be because you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else.  You will participate in counseling, group therapy, and other activities with mental health professionals and other patients in the hospital.

Treatment differs depending on the type of mental illness and can differ according to the individual, the severity of the illness, and the history of the disease.  However, the main types of treatment include:

  • Psychological Therapy:  There are many distinct types of psychotherapy, including supportive therapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, group, couple, and family therapy.
  • Medications:  The most commonly prescribed drugs are antidepressants, which can be used for anxiety or depression.  Mood stabilizers are used for bipolar disorder, and antipsychotic medications are used for schizophrenia or psychosis.
  • Lifestyle Changes:  Exercise is recognized to help ease or prevent anxiety or depression.  Avoiding illicit drugs and alcohol is also advised, as is a healthy diet and good nourishment.
  • Complementary Therapies:  Relaxation strategies, meditation, or other therapies may be adequate to recover good mental health.

If severe, or an individual is at risk of suicide, treatment may involve hospital assessment and admission.

For more info regarding the Mental Illness Awareness Week, visit

Now.  Whenever you need someone to talk to about treatment options to suit your situation, call us.  Even if we can’t help you, we’ll guide you to where you can get help.  There’s never any obligation. 

How to Level Up For Mental Illness Awareness Week

First, seek out support from friends and family members.  And then, research to understand treatments and therapies that can be crucial. Seek out mental health professionals for guidance.  Treatment and recovery may allow you to live a happy, fulfilling life.  And if you are having severe symptoms, suicidal thoughts, or thoughts of harming yourself, seek out help immediately.

At We Level Up treatment center, our advisors understand and can recommend the best-suited therapies for your specific and even complex disorders.

Our treatment centers offer stand-alone mental health treatment to a multi-faceted drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment center with a dual diagnosis program.  Our team uses evidence-based, proven methods to generate cutting-edge solutions to substance abuse and behavioral health challenges targeted towards families and individuals.  We work to improve the health of the public and individuals from every treatment opportunity.  This includes constant research and innovation on substance abuse and psychiatric disorder treatment models paired with individuals in a conducive environment.

We believe that you should be treated with dignity and respect. We Level Up treatment center also includes evidence-based therapeutic practices and offers support to family members and loved ones, friends, and the community at large.

Who Is Ryan Zofay?

In 2019 Ryan Zofay [6] founded the Level Up Development Series.  We Level Up is a unique development program that provides attendees with the tools and knowledge to eliminate limiting thoughts from their lives and to reach their full potential.  As Ryan Zofay explains in his February 2020 Sober Nation podcast interview, he invests in the people who he hires because with a strong team, together, they can make a difference.

Ryan Zofay is most passionate about sharing his practical lessons that change lives.  As a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, he teaches development strategies that improve performance, connection, and overall mindset.

Using the teachings of his successes and tribulations, Ryan has a unique ability to facilitate significant change for individuals and organizations. In addition, Ryan’s passion and enthusiasm readily spill over to his listeners.

Moreover, his life accounts, incredible comeback journies, along with the wisdom he developed, help formulate instructions on how to realize your goals.  Visit the Ryan Zofay Events page for further more details.

Mental Illness Awareness Week Sources:

[1] Mental Illness – National Institute of Mental Health                                                                  
[2] Mental Illness Awareness Week/Mental Health By the Numbers – National Alliance on Mental Illness
[3, 5] What Is Mental Illness? – – American Psychiatric Association
[4] About Mental Health

[6] The Level Up Event by Ryan Zofay » Drug Alcohol Addiction Rehab ( Ryan Zofay – Home | Facebook Ryan Zofay – YouTube