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May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Let's Start Talking.

Person holding balloons on the beach.

Every year, one in five adults in the US is affected by mental illness. Around 43.8 million people deal with depression and anxiety (National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 2018).  NAMI is an independent organization that provides health information on behalf of BlueChoice HealthPlan. Mental health awareness can help you support loved ones and stay educated about this public health concern. 

After college, I worked for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. My area focused on youth suicide prevention. My role educated me about mental illness. I also had to think about my attitude. I learned how important it is to educate people about mental illness and to raise awareness. I even learned how misunderstandings can keep families from getting help. 

Let’s start talking about mental health. This month, I challenge you to do three things. They’ll help increase your awareness of mental health issues. 

  1. Educate yourself on mental health and mental illness. Education equals understanding. Education can help you better support people suffering with mental illness.
  2. Increase your understanding. Many people ignore mental health problems, thinking they will “get over it.”  Mental health issues can impact anyone and are more common than most people realize.
  3. Research the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).   NAMI works to improve the lives of people with mental illness. They offer education, support and advocacy. It works to end discrimination against people with mental illness. Check out NAMI’s website for more information about mental illness. This link leads to a third party site. That organization is solely responsible for the contents and privacy policies on its site.

As a BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid member, you have access to many behavioral health resources. You can learn more about them here.

If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to NAMI South Carolina at 800-788-5131. Or you can visit its website at