The Northeastern Center (NEC) wants to remind the community that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  The purpose of Mental Health Month is to raise awareness around mental health and bring attention to the widespread issue of mental illness that affects millions of people across the United States and fight the stigma often associated with it.  Northeastern Center has a free mental health assessment available here: Anxiety Screening Tool

The Northeastern Center is available to anyone dealing with mental health issues and wants to seek help.  They have offices in DeKalb, Noble, Steuben, and LaGrange counties and provide support and treatment to those who need it.  They also have a 24/7 crisis emergency hotline available 365 days a year at 1-800-790-0118.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, it is estimated that 1 in 4 U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness each year; nearly 8 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness.  Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. among the ages of 10 to 34; it is estimated, however, that 90% of those people experience symptoms of a treatable mental health condition such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Despite the overall frequency of mental health issues, nearly 50% of those suffering do not seek treatment.  On average, it takes 11 years after first experiencing symptoms to seek help for a mental health disorder.  The stigma surrounding mental health disorders often leads to people hiding their struggles.  According to the American Psychological Association, more than a third of Americans feel uncomfortable interacting with someone who has a mental illness.  Research also shows that 56% of Americans would feel uncomfortable telling their friends or family if they had a mental illness.