What kind of psychiatrist would I be if I didn’t share about May being Mental Health Awareness Month? You’ll be seeing green ribbons everywhere in support of #knowscience and #nostigma.
The HHS and current administration shared a press release regarding the celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month in May 2022. There is currently a severe shortage of behavioral health-trained providers. According to the CDC, suicide remains the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 14 and adults aged 24 to 35. While suicide was responsible for nearly 46,000 deaths in 2020, many more people attempt or have serious thoughts of suicide–critical risk factors for future suicide. In addition, the crisis of opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose in the United States is a rapidly evolving and urgent public health emergency. Overdose deaths were rising prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2020 there was a 30% increase in overdose deaths, with nearly 92,000 overdose deaths. Provisional data from the CDC indicate that overdoses have continued to increase, with more than 105,000 overdose deaths predicted in the 12 months ending in November 2021.
As a psychiatrist on the front lines, I can tell you that these numbers don’t surprise me at all. I continue to work day in and day out to be a support for my community. It’s important to have conversations about our mental health. It’s just as important as our physical health. Reducing the stigma is crucial. We are facing the aftermath of the pandemic, and I can only imagine how things will change as time goes on. I encourage you to learn more about mental health as each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental illness. I encourage you to advocate for a better mental health care system. I encourage you to learn more to work together for better prevention and access to resources. Let’s #knowscience and #endthestigma.
What are your thoughts about mental health awareness?
Thoughts from a psychiatry resident physician,
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