Mental Illness Awareness


Almost everyone is affected by mental health directly or indirectly. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) recognizes the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. This is meant to raise awareness for mental illness and to help fight the stigma and barriers around it. While it is important to talk about mental health all year round, having a week dedicated to it provides a specific time for people to come together for advocacy.

Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990. Since then, mental health advocates have worked together to educate the public. This year, NAMI is running an initiative called “Together for Mental Illness.” This initiative will put a focus on advocating for people with severe mental illness.

Mental Illness Awareness Week also coincides with awareness days including:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding
  • Thursday, Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day
  • Saturday, Oct. 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope
  • Sunday, Oct. 10: World Mental Health Day


Mental Illness Awareness Week

This article has been professionally peer reviewed by Director of Cornerstone Consultants, Dr. Amy Trout, and founding advisory committee member for the Uyeno Foundation. You can learn more about Dr. Trout’s work and expertise by visiting

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