May is Mental Health Awareness Month. First, the terms “mental health” or “behavioral health” are misleading. “Brain disease” is more suitable. And they are complex brain diseases with widespread and often devastating effects on patients, families, and the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 25% of all Americans experience some type of these brain diseases. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness. Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 with 75% starting by age 24.