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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, we 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.

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2021 occurs Sunday, Oct. 3 through Saturday, Oct. 9. This year’s MIAW is centered around NAMI’s new awareness campaign Together for Mental Health, where they will focus on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness (SMI).

Mental Illness by the Numbers

Individual Impact

• 5.2% of U.S. adults (13.1 million people) experienced SMI in 2019, but only 65.5% of them received treatment.
• 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience SMI each year, but less than two-thirds
get treatment.

  • Annual prevalence among U.S. adults, by condition:
    • Anxiety Disorders: 19.1% (estimated 48 million people)
    • Major Depressive Episode: 7.8% (estimated 19.4 million people)
    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 3.6% (estimated 9 million people)
    • Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (estimated 7 million people)
    • Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.4% (estimated 3.5 million people)
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2% (estimated 3 million people)
    • Schizophrenia: <1% (estimated 1.5 million people)

Community Impact

• 11.9% of U.S. adults with SMI had no insurance coverage in 2019.
• Across the U.S. economy, SMI causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings
each year.
• 20.5% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have SMI.
• About 2 million times each year, people with SMI are booked into jails.
• An estimated 4,000 people with SMI are held in solitary confinement
inside U.S. prisons