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Please join the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and individuals and organizations from across the nation this May in observing Mental Health Month!

may-mental-health-monthEach May, Mental Health Month is observed to raise awareness about mental health related issues, fight stigma, and to provide support, education, and advocacy. Approximately one in five adults in the United States will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime; and everyone is affected by mental illness through family and friends.

Mental Health Month has a different theme every year designed to encourage people to learn about a particular aspect of mental wellness and healthcare. This year, the theme is “Risky Business” — focusing on the habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or worsening mental illnesses. Some of these behaviors may actually be symptoms of mental illness themselves.

Studies show that half of those who will develop a mental health disorder show symptoms by age 14. Identifying potentially risky behaviors is a vital component of prevention and early intervention; especially to young people.  This is key to providing effective treatment and reducing the burden of mental illness.

The importance of early intervention cannot be understated. An American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes – that’s more than 40,000 annually. And military veterans make up almost a quarter of that number. What is more shocking, however, is that 70 percent of those individuals give warning signs in advance. Those are sobering statistics; especially considering that mental illnesses – while common – are treatable and recovery is possible.

Mental health is essential to overall health and well-being; and knowing how to identify the warning signs early on and respond quickly is vital to ensuring effective treatment and sustained recovery. Join us this May in encouraging individuals to educate themselves about early warning signs and harmful behaviors so that we can eliminate stigma for seeking treatment.

Helpful Mental Health Resources and Contacts:

For all emergencies, please call 911

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Available 24/7. They also have additional crisis services, including a live chat feature, on their website.

Masachusetts Department of Mental Health(DMH)
DMH Information and Resource Line: 1-800-221-0053
DMH Info Email:

Massachusetts Recovery Learning Communities (RLC) are networks of self- help and peer support run by individuals with lived experience offering information and referral, advocacy, and training activities. There is no cost, and the doors are open to everyone.

Metro Boston RLC
Metro Suburban (Southeast, Quincy) RLC
Southeast RLC
Central Massachusetts RLC/Kiva Center
Western Massachusetts RLC
Northeast Area RLC

Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) Emergency Services Information Number: 1-877-382-1609 and Emergency Services Program Contact Information

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “Know the Warning Signs.” Common symptoms of mental illness.

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