May 2021: Mental Health Awareness Month

WHEREAS, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and affects how we think, feel, act, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices; and,


WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime, with 1 in 5 Americans experiencing a mental illness in a given year; and,  


WHEREAS, in Michigan, nearly 4.5% of adults live with serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, but only 43.6% of adults with mental illness receive any form of treatment from either a public system or private provider; and,


WHEREAS,  a number of factors can increase the risk of mental illness, such as early adverse life experiences, experiences related to ongoing medical conditions, biological factors, use of alcohol or recreational drugs, and having feelings of loneliness or isolation; and,


WHEREAS, all individuals can experience times of difficulty and stress in their lives and should feel comfortable in seeking help and support to manage these times; and,


WHEREAS, the various challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, including isolation, loss of income, fear, and bereavement, have significantly contributed to declining levels of mental health in children, teens, and adults in our state; and,


WHEREAS, engaging in prevention, early identification, and early intervention are effective ways to reduce the burden of mental illnesses just as they are to reduce the burden of other chronic conditions; and,


WHEREAS, evidence-based mental and behavioral health training teaches adults how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use problems in youth and provides adults with skills to use specific and focused action plans to help youth who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis; and,


WHEREAS, teen trainings have been successful in reducing stigma and teaching students to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis; and,


WHEREAS, with effective treatment, individuals with mental illnesses, even serious mental illnesses, can make progress toward recovery and lead full, productive lives; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, Michigan businesses, schools, government agencies, health care providers, organizations, and citizens should do their part in promoting mental health and well-being for all and provide support to those around us who are experiencing times of difficulty and stress;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2021 as Mental Health Awareness Month in Michigan.