Mental Health Month: Raising Awareness and Improving Treatment

Mental Health Month shines a light on the importance of mental well-being. We Level Up Treatment Centers are at the forefront, spreading awareness, dismantling stigma, and enhancing access to effective treatments for mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Let’s commit to better mental health for all.


Did you know that nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness? As we observe Mental Health Month, ask yourself: When was the last time you checked in on your own mental well-being or reached out to someone who might need support? Furthermore, many people with mental health issues also struggle with substance use disorders (and vice versa). This dual challenge highlights the critical need for comprehensive and integrated mental health care.

Mental Health Month logo

Mental Health Month gives us all a valuable opportunity to celebrate this nation’s tremendous strides in promoting mental health and increasing the public’s knowledge that effective services and support are available. It has contributed to open dialogue, improved legislation and treatments, and overall mental health promotion. More than anything, it leads to proper education on mental health conditions and acceptance among people. 

Recognition of Mental Health Month increases awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives and celebrates recovery from mental illness. Although May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it is the duty of all mental health centers to keep the conversation on mental health alive throughout the year and ensure proper treatment of all of those in need.

Why We Celebrate Mental Health Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been celebrated since 1949. Every year, it reminds us that over the past twenty years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and others within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and across the Federal Government, the public health community, and the general public have made efforts to increase the importance of understanding both the prevention and treatment of mental health problems. These efforts have significantly improved the outlook for those affected by mental disorders.

Mental Health Month in US: Efforts and Successes in Mental Health Awareness

Successful efforts that have raised awareness about the importance of mental health and promoted acceptance, support, prevention, and recovery from these mental health conditions include:

  • The Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage to approximately 30 million Americans by 2016, and an estimated 11 million of these newly eligible beneficiaries will have substance abuse and/or mental health service needs.
  • The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant provides financial assistance to states and territories to carry out state plans to offer comprehensive community-based mental health services and evidence-based practices to adults with serious mental illnesses and children with serious emotional disturbances.
  • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 eliminates the practice of unequal health treatment and improves access to much-needed mental health and substance use disorder treatment services through more equitable insurance coverage.
  • The Garrett Lee Smith State/Tribal Suicide Prevention Program facilitates:
    • Coordination across government agencies and the private sector in the development.
    • Implementation and evaluation of youth suicide prevention and early intervention plans among youth-serving institutions, such as schools, educational institutions, juvenile justice systems, substance abuse programs, primary care, mental health programs, foster care systems, and other organizations.
  • In 2024, the US Department of Health and Human Services created a new 10-year strategy for suicide prevention as well as a federal action plan. They are aiming to work on prevention while also aiding those who have survived suicide attempts.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Month in the United States. This month reminds us that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives. Ever since it was established, it has been addressing many mental health topics, from specific problems such as anxiety, stress, depression, and trauma treatment to the impact they can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. 

Mental Health Month in US always aims to raise awareness of current issues. Some years were marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of resilience in those difficult times. Others pointed out the importance of a holistic approach to health and the interconnection between physical activity and well-being. With its campaigns, Mental Health Month set a goal to unite people, share stories, and raise awareness

A girl happy because it's the Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month benefits the general public and those affected by behavioral health issues.

Mental Health Month topics and initiatives contributed to adopting new ways of assisting people who struggle, whether by using social media to connect, telehealth to support people no matter where they are, or by introducing mindful practices as a way to cope with stress. Additionally, encouraging people to speak of their experiences undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of conditions and disorders and, with that, improvement of programs such as dual-diagnosis and depression treatment.

The Mental Health Month 2024 topic is Where to Start, and the goal is to encourage all those struggling to seek help. The emphasis is on everyday struggles, stress, and loneliness, and it highlights that no person is immune to mental health issues.

A note that says to take care of yourself because May is mental health month.
The Mental Health Month 2024 topic is Where to Start, and it invites people to take care of themselves every day.

Mental Health & Dual Diagnosis Facts & Figures

Organizations, institutions, and individuals can support Mental Health Month 2024 in various ways. We Level Up Treatment Centers offer their support all year round by raising awareness about mental health issues, sharing information about how impacted the public is, developing evidence-based treatments, and ensuring top-notch treatments. 

Raising Awareness about the Impact

Who is affected?
  • 7.7 million adults in the US have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. This doesn’t mean that one caused the other, and it can be difficult to determine which came first.
  • Of the 20.3 million adults with substance use disorders, 37.9% also had mental illnesses.
  • Among the 42.1 million adults with mental disorders, 18.2% also had substance use disorders.
Who gets treatment?

There are many effective treatments for both mental and substance use disorders. A comprehensive treatment approach will address both disorders at the same time. Not everyone with co-occurring conditions gets the treatment they need:

  • 52.5% of those with co-occurring conditions received neither mental health care nor substance use treatment.
  • 34.5% of those with co-occurring conditions received mental health care only.
  • 9.1% of those with co-occurring conditions received both mental health care and substance use treatment.
  • 3.9% of those with co-occurring conditions received substance use treatment only.
What are the barriers to getting treatment? 

Even among people who want to find help, barriers exist to receiving it. Among US adults with co-occurring disorders who did not receive mental health care, their reasons for not receiving it were:

  • 52.2% said they could not afford the cost.
  • 23.8% said they did not know where to go for treatment.
  • 23.0% said they could handle the problem without treatment.
  • 13.6% said they feared being committed.
  • 12.4% said it might cause their neighbors to have a negative opinion of them.
  • 11.1% said they did not think treatment would help.
  • 10.6% said they did not have the time.
  • 10.1% said they were concerned about confidentiality.
What are the reasons for not getting treatment?

Among adults with co-occurring disorders who did not receive substance use care, their reasons for not receiving it were:

  • 38.4% said they were not ready to stop using.
  • 35.1% said they had no health insurance and could not afford the cost.
  • 13.1% said it might cause their neighbors to have a negative opinion of them.
  • 13.0% said it might have a negative effect on their job.
  • 11.5% said they did not know where to go for treatment.
  • 9.9% said they had insurance, but it did not cover the treatment cost.
  • 9% said no program had the treatment type. 
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Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month in US trains you to help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.

Dual-diagnosis Treatment

The data on co-occurring disorders highlights the need for more dual diagnosis treatment centers and treatment options. As the addiction treatment community begins to realize that addiction is itself a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse, not treated or diagnosed at all.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in We Level Up Florida, California, Texas, and New Jersey have professionals trained to treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates. By addressing both mental health and substance use issues together, we ensure a more comprehensive recovery, reducing the likelihood of relapse.

What is Dual-Diagnosis? 

A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions occur together frequently. About half of the people who have a mental disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, and vice versa.

Substance abuse disorders often result in conditions that are characterized by mental illness, including:

  • Anxiety Disorders: A major threat to public safety is a significant rise in socially nervous disorders in the general population. Additionally, it has been determined that an increase in the use of marijuana is associated with interpersonal anxiety disorders. The co-occurring disorders are rather common in generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, and severe panic disorders in people with the conditions above, particularly in generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, and severe panic disorders.
  • Mood Disorders: In general, around 20% of the general public with a SUD also have bipolar disorder or depression. While several mood disorders will be observed during this period, many SUDs are likely to be assigned to at least one mood disorder.
  • Personality disorders: Over 35% of patients with an alcohol or drug addiction have a personality disorder. In comparison, 15-20% of people in the normal population have a personality disorder, while 15%–50% of people in the “normal population” have personality disorders. Most SUD sufferers are diagnosed with Co-occurring disorders such as paranoid personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, borderline personality disorder, and obtrusive personality disorder.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study that found people with PTSD were four times more likely to be suffering from substance abuse disorders when compared to people who did not have PTSD.
  • Hyperactivity Disorder: According to one study, there is an association between ADHD and substance abuse, which means people with ADHD are at a higher risk of substance abuse at a younger age. According to Brook and coworkers, diagnostic scores of ADHD, which are generally first discovered in teenage girls, are associated with increased risks of substance use disorders in adults, a condition known as co-occurring disorders. A person’s likelihood of abusing substances is positively correlated with the number of symptoms he or she demonstrates with attentional deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Two women talking while in therapy.
We Level Up Centers support mental health awareness month by sharing information and developing much-needed dual-diagnosis programs.

How is Dual-Daignosis Treated? 

A good dual-diagnosis drug treatment program and drug addiction therapy facility need to be able to treat both conditions without treating one as the sole cause of the other. Addiction is a complicated disease, and no one is to blame for it. There are various options available to handle drug addiction therapy.

A quality drug treatment program at We Level Up network offers several levels of therapy as well as multiple treatment options. This allows our rehabilitation facilities to meet the individual needs of our patients.

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Most programs begin with a detox process to remove the physical dependence on any substances, followed by a residency program. This type of program can last as long as two months and is designed to provide intensive, focused therapy in a controlled environment to help you get over the first hurdle and give you the tools necessary to face the cravings and temptations of everyday life.

Dual-diagnosis cases are identified during the inpatient treatment process. Someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. For the treatment to be effective, you need to stop using alcohol or drugs. Treatments may include behavioral therapies and medications. Also, support groups can give you emotional and social support. They are also a place where people can share tips about how to deal with day-to-day challenges.

Supporting Mental Health Month: First-class Facilities & Amenities

Mental Health Month raises awareness not only about mental health but also about where to seek help and how to recognize treatments and facilities that would work for you. For instance, you may ask these questions when assessing a treatment center:

  • Does the facility have qualified medical staff and licensed doctors?
  • Does the treatment center have accreditation demonstrating its dedication to healthcare standards and patient safety?
  • Does the facility provide support for prevention?
  • Is dual diagnosis a part of the facility´s services?
  • Does the center provide evidence-based therapy?
  • What levels of care does the facility provide?

First-class Facilities & Amenities

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  • Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
  • Onsite Medical Detox Center
  • Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
  • Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
  • Coaching, Recovery & Personal Development Events

The We Level Up network is licensed and nationally accredited. All our facilities are first class, offering peace, privacy, and comfort. Some of the basic amenities you can expect from our inpatient programs are: 

  • Comfortable and clean spaces: Inpatient treatment facilities should feel calm and comforting. Clean, welcoming offices, rooms, meeting spaces, and grounds help you start fresh and focus on your process.
  • Supervision: Clients are not alone in their recovery. Licensed rehabs have professional medical support and care to help individuals commit to their treatment. 
  • Nutritious meals: The body needs energy to heal and fight everyday stress. Clients living on-site expect nutritious and healthy meals designed for recovery. 
  • Exercise: Exercise is beneficial for rebuilding the client’s health. Some exercise opportunities will be built into the schedule. 

Our approach to facilities and amenities reflects our holistic view of health. We aim to treat the body, mind, and spirit equally. Additionally, we support various therapeutic activities that foster emotional healing, such as art therapy, yoga, and mindfulness practices, ensuring a well-rounded recovery experience. We understand each journey is unique, and our programs are tailored to meet individual needs and challenges.

If you are unsure which services are available in your area, call us at (844) 597-1011 or visit our website, www.WeLevelUp.com

Two women talking about mental health month in US
Mental Health Month campaign uses a system-wide approach to educate the public and inform stakeholders about available services and where to find resources regarding behavioral health issues like postpartum depression. 

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The Purpose of Mental Health Month

Mental health issues should not be ignored. It´s important for the public to use Mental Health Month to learn about risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns. Education and information, along with strategies on how to help someone in crisis and non-crisis situations and where to turn for help, can make a huge difference for you and your loved ones. 

No matter when is Mental Health Awareness Month, an open dialog must exist, and mental health should be promoted. Learn how to help those struggling with mental health. Call We Level Up Treatment Centers today for more information.

Sources:

Abuse, N.I. on D. (2018). Comorbidity: Substance Use and Other Mental Disorders. [online] National Institute on Drug Abuse. Available at: https://nida.nih.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/comorbidity-substance-use-other-mental-disorders.

Administration (SAMHSA), S.A. and M.H.S. (2024). 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. [online] www.hhs.gov. Available at: https://www.hhs.gov/programs/prevention-and-wellness/mental-health-substance-abuse/national-strategy-suicide-prevention/index.html.

Hryb, K., Kirkhart, R. and Talbert, R. (2019). A call for standardized definition of dual diagnosis. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), [online] 4(9), pp.15–6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2880934/.

youth.gov. (n.d.). May is National Mental Health Month | Youth.gov. [online] Available at: https://youth.gov/feature-article/may-national-mental-health-month.