According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. Unlike a physical disability such as an amputation, mental health conditions while invisible can be just as challenging to live with. This is why very year during the first week of October (October 1-7, 2023), NAMI recognizes Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) as a time to shine a light on internal struggles through awareness and support.
In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as MIAW in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. This year the theme for the awareness week is “Together We Care. Together We Share,” which focuses on 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. Two of NAMI’s major support resources that you can utilize all year are NAMI support groups (Spanish-speaking is available) and the new NAMI Teen and Young Adult HelpLine, which is a free nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals, and support.
Especially in our community, we know that undergoing a major life-change such as an amputation often can lead people to experience symptoms from depression, PTSD, or anxiety etc. The Amputee Coalition’s National Limb Loss Resource Center also has dedicated resources and information for mental health and wellness. It is impossible to thrive without making total health a priority.