Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020


Millions of people worldwide live with a mental health condition.

But in reality, it affects so many more. Based on the statistics, even if someone doesn’t personally live with a mental illness, someone they care about does. So, in reality, it touches all of us in some way. Mental illness can affect anyone; nobody is entirely immune to it.  Even knowing that…knowing that we are all at risk of struggling with a mental illness, the stigma surrounding it is still there and still strong.

Oct 4- Oct 10 is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).

A week created in 1990 by Congress and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) to help support those who have struggled, currently struggle, or might one day struggle with their mental health.

MIAW was created to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness and help those too scared to speak up about how they feel, know that it is ok to ask for help not only during this week but anytime year-round.

It is also a week for family members, friends, and everyone to learn more about mental illness and how to best support those living with mental illness. 

Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash

Some statistics:

-1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth (ages 6-17) experience mental illness each year. 

-Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. 

-Another scary statistic? The delay between the onset of symptoms and being treated is 11 years on average! 

The stigma surrounding mental health has become so intense that, on average, it can take over a decade for someone to get the help they need because they are afraid of speaking up, or if they do speak up, they get brushed off. That is not ok!

We need to talk about this to make sure people know that they are not alone. We also need to let people know that asking for help, being vulnerable, and expressing themselves doesn’t show weakness. It shows strength!

(Visit to see more statistics about mental illness in the US.)

This year is a particularly important year to check in on our mental health (and the mental health of others).

The COVID pandemic is a mental health nightmare. The emotional rollercoaster, the not knowing what is right and what is not, lacking control. Struggles with mental health are at an all-time high due to pandemic stress, and we won’t even truly see the full effects this pandemic has had on global mental health for years to come. All the more reason this week of creating awareness is so important. 

MIAW is a week for all of us to reflect on how we can support those struggling with their mental health. It is also a time to reflect on how we can support our own mental health.

The theme for MIAW this year is “What people with mental illness want you to know.” As someone who has personally struggled with mental illness, I can say there is so much I want people to know that I wouldn’t be able to put it all into one blog post. However, the top thing would be that mental illness doesn’t define us. It is part of who we are or who we were, but it isn’t all of us.

We are not less than anyone else; we have not failed. 

I encourage everyone to take this week to reach out. Ask someone how they are feeling, or if you are not feeling ok reach out and tell someone. 

Maternal Mental Health Week: Supporting the 1 in 5 Rachelle Haime Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Photo by Alan Retratos from Pexels

Ask for help and encourage others to ask for help.

Miami Mom Collective is a safe place to speak up always. Feel free to send us a private message here or on social media if you ever need someone to talk to; we are happy to help however we can. We are all part of the same village, and we are here to support each other in any way we can. 

So, in the spirit of this year’s MIAW theme. If you or someone you know has been affected by mental illness, what is something you would want people to know? Let us know in the comments; you could be helping someone else by doing so. 

Helpful resources:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Postpartum Support International

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

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Rachelle Haime
Rachelle is a public relations manager turned SAHM. She is Miami born but spent most of her life moving between Florida and Colombia, finally moving back to Florida in 2017 with her husband and 2 kids. Her postpartum depression inspired her to become a maternal mental health advocate, and she started The Plentiful Cup because no mom should feel alone or unsupported. Rachelle shares her story in hopes that other women will feel more comfortable speaking up, asking for help, and practicing self-care to support their mental health. Moms gladly do everything for our families, but then what happens to us? She wants moms to know that they shouldn’t feel guilty about practicing self-care. We cannot fill anyone’s cup if ours is empty!


  1. Well written, Rachelle! So happy that there is a place for all people to come for meaningful mental health illness resources. So important and helpful! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you so much Krystal! Yes so important to have these resources for mental health 🙂 thanks for reading and sharing :):)

  2. Given my relationships with people withmental health illness, I think they want folks to know that before their diagnosis, it may have been difficult to perceive that something may have been an illness versus just a feeling. in other words, oftentimes they depend on their community to identify signs of the illness. Communities should learns the signs of mental health illness.

    • Esther thank you for reading! Yes that is a very important thing to know…community support is so important so as a community learning and recognizing the signs is vital. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for writing this and for sharing with us!! This was a great read, interesting, heartbreaking statistics, but something we should all be well aware of.
    One thing I would say is, seeking help is a win, it is not failure, it is the exact opposite, it is not giving up.

    • Thanks so much Ana-Sofia! Yesss that is a great thing for people to know…asking for help is strength for sure :):) thank uuu for sharing :):)

  4. As mothers we care for everyone else and at times forget to check in with ourselves. Thank you for writing this article!

    • Yes absolutely! We have to remember to take care of ourselves first so we can take care of everyone else… thank you so much for reading Lucy 🙂

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