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May is Mental Health Awareness Month


Mayor Backus officially proclaimed May Mental Health Awareness month in Auburn in her May 1 weekly address. May has been observed in the United States as Mental Health Awareness month since 1949. The goal of this month is to fight stigma, educate the public, and support people with mental illness and their families.mental health awareness month, may mental health awareness, mental health, auburn mental health awareness, mental health awareness month 2020, auburn wa mental health awareness month proclamation, backus mental health awareness

Mental illness is not something to ever be ashamed of.   Here are just a few statistics on mental health from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the World Health Organization:

  • 43.8 million adults in America experience mental illness in a given year. (NAMI)
  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness (NAMI)
  • Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness (NAMI)
  • One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24 (NAMI)
  • 1 in 100 (2.4 million) American adults live with schizophrenia (NAMI)
  • 2.6% (6.1 million) of American adults live with bipolar disorder (NAMI)
  • 6.9% (16 million) of American adults live with major depression (NAMI)
  • 18.1% (42 million) of American adults live with anxiety disorders (NAMI)
  • Approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders (NAMI)
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness (NAMI)
  • Approximately 24% of state prisoners have “a recent history of a mental health condition” (NAMI)
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease (NAMI)
  • The global economy loses about US$ 1 trillion per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety (WHO)
  • People with severe mental disorders die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population (WHO)
  • Almost 800 000 people die by suicide every year; 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15-29 years (Global numbers – WHO)
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S (NAMI)
  • Nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year (NAMI)
  • Nearly 50% of youth aged 8-15 didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year (NAMI)

African American & Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about 1/2 the rate of whites in the past year and Asian Americans at about 1/3 the rate (NAMI)

The most important thing to remember for anyone experiencing a crisis, trauma, or other symptoms of mental illness is that help is available. No one fights alone.

Mental Health Awareness Playlists

For the Month of May, the AE Team created playlists for Mental Health Awareness. 

Don’t forget to check out our other playlists, and follow us on Spotify – you may just catch a playlist before it’s released!


Warning: some songs may contain explicit lyrics.

Elizabeth’s Mental Health Awareness Playlist:

As someone living with C-PTSD, the songs on this list resonate with me.


Jason’s Mental Health Awareness Playlist:

This playlist is designed as a way into my mindset when it relates to mental illness. Typically, this was not spoken about out loud in the recent past. The times are changing, however, which is only a good thing. When I think of mental illness, I think of reaching out for support to friends or family members. I also think about the friends we check in on or vice versa. To me, empowerment comes from our abilities to connect as human beings. These songs reflect my personal views.

Scott’s Mental Health Awareness Playlist:

Waylon’s Mental Health Awareness Playlist:

Cameron’s Mental Health Awareness Playlist:


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