Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. That is why each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination and provide support through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).

We believe that mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round but highlighting them during MIAW provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. Since 1990, when Congress officially established the first full week of October as MIAW, advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.

MIAW 2022

This year’s MIAW is centered around the theme “What I Wish I Had Known” where we will focus on the power of lived experience. Each day throughout the week, we will be elevating the voices of people with lived experience to talk about the components of their recovery where they learned something that could have helped them sooner.
The topics include: What I Wish I’d Known About…

Monday Oct. 3: Stigma

Tuesday Oct. 4: Medication

Wednesday Oct. 5: Therapy

Thursday Oct. 6: Disclosing 

Friday Oct. 7: Caregiving 

Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 2–8 and coincides with additional related events:

  • Tuesday Oct. 4: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • Thursday Oct. 6: National Depression Screening Day
  • Monday Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day

Additional Resources

Information, resources and graphics to support Mental Illness Awareness Week can be downloaded here. Additional stats, infographics and resources can also be found on our Mental Health by the Numbers web page.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day 

This day, officially observed every year on October 10th since 1992, aims to raise awareness in the global community about the critical mental health agendas – with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners – to take action and to create lasting change.

WMHD is founded by the World Federation for Mental Health, whose mission is to promote the advancement of mental health awareness, prevention of mental disorders, advocacy, and best practice recovery focused interventions worldwide.

The theme for 2022 is  ‘Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority’ an opportunity to re-kindle efforts to make the world a better place.

COVID 19 has shown that no nation was prepared for the associated mental health crisis and the effects of long Covid. We need a new compact for mental health.

Find out more about World Mental Health Day

National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

This observance works to bring awareness to the need for depression awareness and the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. Several different factors can often come into play with depression that can include a mix of environmental, genetic, psychological, and biological /biochemical components. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, but it can affect anyone at any time. So, it is important to take that next step and seek out professional help and be screened if you or someone you care about feels they may be depressed. Depression is a highly treatable condition with many different options available, but a professional should be sought out to help determine the best course of action for every individual that is suffering from it.

Learn more here:

Depression | Mental Health America (

Depression Test – Free mental health tests from Mental Health America (

Mental Illness Awareness Week | Mental Health America (

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