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Mental Illness Awareness Week

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI), nearly one in five adults live with a mental illness. Mental illnesses can be described as health conditions that cause changes in emotion, thinking, behavior, or a combination of all three. Mental illnesses are usually associated with distress, problems functioning in social settings, work, or family activities. Mental health also has a large impact on relationships, self-esteem, and personal and emotional well-being. Mental illness does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, age, geography, income, ethnicity, or spirituality. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Many people with mental illness suffer in silence due to the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental health. Roughly only 40% of those with a mental illness receive therapy treatment. No matter who you are, mental illness has an impact on you to some extent. This could be through a family member, friend, spouse, or coworker. It is important to reach out and seek help from a licensed therapist if you are suffering and provide support and understanding to others who may be experiencing any mental health concerns.

Mental Illness Awareness Week  

Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place during the first full week of October every year and aims to educate the public about mental illness, break the stigma, and advocate for those who are suffering. Mental Illness Awareness week coincides with National Depression Screening Day and World Mental Health Day.

National Depression Screening Day

National Depression Screening Day is held on October 8th annually to help people make an informed diagnosis and raise awareness about depression symptoms. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that affect more than 16 million adults each year. Depression screenings provide a quick and easy way to screen for depression symptoms and learn how to manage them. Reasons for depression screening include:

  • Depression is a serious mental illness
  • Depression can lead to suicide
  • Sometimes those with depression mistakenly think their symptoms are normal
  • Clinical depression affects all demographics
  • Many people who live with depression do not seek the treatment they need
  • Depression can be a co-occurring disorder
  • Screening for depression is the first step to getting help

Take our free depression self-assessment:

Should I be screened for depression?

If you believe you are suffering from depression or you are experiencing the following symptoms, you should be screened for depression and seek help from a licensed therapist:

  • Persistent sad and anxious mood
  • Weight loss or weight gain with decreased or increased appetite
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed

Without proper treatment, depression symptoms can become debilitating. Early detection is important and finding the right treatment plan mixed with psychotherapy, medication, exercise, and changed lifestyle can help manage depression.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is held on October 10th annually and is an international day for global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against the social stigma surrounding mental health. World Mental Health Day was first established in the 90’s and since then social stigma and understanding of mental health has come a long way. However, there is still a lot to learn about mental health.

Multiple factors are known to contribute to mental illness including, psychological trauma, loss of a parent or child, or neglect. This year due to COVID-19, the world is experiencing a global mental health impact that has affected millions of people. Research has shown that 80% of people living with mental illness have said COVID-19 worsened their mental health. It is expected that mental health support and awareness will need to increase in the upcoming months. More so now then ever, it is important that mental health is accessible for all.

Mental Health Treatment at Harmony Bay Wellness

If you are experiencing mental health issues, it is important to consult a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. Harmony Bay Wellness, located in South Jersey, offers a wide range of mental health therapies including:

Our team of licensed therapists and psychiatrists will help create a treatment plan that works for you. Reach out to Harmony Bay Wellness today for more information by contacting us at 855.765.6399.


“Get Involved | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.” Nami.Org, 2019,

“Mental Illness Awareness Week | Mental Health America.” Mhanational.Org, 2019, Accessed 16 Oct. 2019.

“National Depression Screening Day.” Mental Health Accessed 25 Sept. 2020.

“World Mental Health Day 2020.” World Federation for Mental Health, Accessed 25 Sept. 2020.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.