Welcome to Wellness Connection of Iowa’s first blog post!  We are excited to have a place to share our thoughts, knowledge and experiences on a variety of topics related to mental health, behavioral health, school-based services, and the overall wellness of individuals and families.  We hope you find these posts informative and helpful.

You may or may not know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  The intent of this month is to educate the public about mental illness, raise awareness surrounding research and treatments, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and celebrate recovery from mental illness. Long-held misperceptions and stigma associated with mental illness has meant that individuals often suffer in silence and don’t seek treatment for their conditions. Mental health awareness helps to improve understanding of mental health conditions and increase access to healthcare for those who need it.

Mental illness affects us all.  Here are some 2022 fast facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that illustrate the devastating rate in which mental illness is impacting individuals throughout our country.

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
  • 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
  • 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14

Throughout this month, let’s make a commitment to increase awareness about the importance of mental wellness. Think small.  Check in with those you care about and ask about their mental health.  You may open up the door for further discussion and encourage someone to begin talking about an uncomfortable subject.

Feelings matter. Mental health matters. YOU MATTER.