May is Mental Health Awareness Month and One in Five Minds is raising awareness of the important role mental health plays in our lives, especially in the lives of our children.Children’s mental illness is a major concern in our community. A community in which 14 percent of Hispanic high school students report having made a suicide plan. One in five children suffer from mental illness—that’s 80,000 children in Bexar County alone. And half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. If even only one person in a household struggles with mental illness, it affects the whole family. Yet unlike a broken arm, only 20 percent of children receive treatment. Stigma, among other reasons, prevents many from seeking help.
Mental illnesses are not only common, they are treatable. There is a wide variety of treatment options for mental illnesses ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support, and it may take some time for parents and guardians to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that works best for their children. But when they do, the results can be truly amazing and life changing.
One in Five Minds fights stigma, provides support and educates the public on the issues surrounding children’s mental health awareness. We believe that these issues are important to address year round, but highlighting these issues during May provides a time for people to come together and display the passion and strength of those working to improve the lives of children affected by mental illness.
During May, please join us by pledging your support, participating in our Maynicures for Mental Health campaign, and attending some of our community’s events highlighting children’s mental health awareness:
May 2: Stand Up and Soar Rally, Austin
May 6: Pinwheels for Hope: surprise installation and press conference, Alamo Plaza
May 7: Walk to Main Plaza with Green Shoes, San Antonio
(Green is the awareness-ribbon color associated with mental health.)
May 9: San Antonio Scorpions Game (NAMI benefit)
May 21: One in Five Minds Day, as proclaimed by Bexar County