Mental Illness Awareness Week: How Knowledge Helps Mental Illnesses

Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) is celebrated yearly in the first week of October. This event has been held since 1990, when it was officially implemented by congress. This year, the theme for MIAW is “what I wish I had known”. People can benefit from this event if they lack experience but want to opt for therapy or are looking to be more mentally aware. For people starting their journey toward treatment, knowledge, and openness to a new lifestyle is necessary. But before we dive into how you can make the best of this event, let’s look at how mental illnesses are defined. 

Defining Mental Illnesses

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual(DSM) – V, mental illnesses consist of the issues that:-
-are clinically recognized, or considered for clinical recognition,
-are marked by disturbed cognitions(thoughts and mental processes), emotions, or behaviors.
-and involve the underlying mental processes of the patient.

Some commonly known mental disorders are clinical depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD), etc. The disturbance or dysfunction can lead an individual to:-
-have unstable mood fluctuations,
-withdraw or isolate themselves,
-have lower energy,
-struggle with sleeping usually,
-alienate from peers, and many more.

Read more: Mental health awareness quiz

The Need For Mental Health Awareness

Mental health affects everyone. It isn’t limited to people suffering from these disorders. It changes the way people relate, interact, and collaborate with others. Loved ones and peers of someone with a mental health condition play a significant role in whether they can healthily navigate their situation. And mental health affects the workplace or economy too. For instance, mental health impacts burnout, job performance, and satisfaction with work.

Support groups, online forums, and collaborations greatly aid in the spread of mental health awareness across society and communities. A broad spectrum of people come together to make this event a success. For instance, the people who have been through treatment recover successfully, and on the other hand, those just beginning to seek treatment.

Read more: Top 22 mental health awareness blogs

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2022

Each day of the mental illness awareness week is reserved for a specific topic. People who have gone through treatment will share their actual experiences. And they will focus on something that would’ve benefitted their treatment if they knew it beforehand. The issues to be addressed include:-
Stigma: Monday, October 3
Therapy: Tuesday, October 4
Medication: Wednesday, October 5
Disclosing: Thursday, October 6
Caregiving: Friday, October 7

So how can you make the best of this event? Tune in, and listen to the different perspectives people have to offer. Talk to a friend with a mental illness about these issues and see if they agree. You can also educate others with the knowledge you receive from this event and start changing your approach toward mental health.


Mental Illness Awareness Week is an event held in the first week of October every year since 1990. It aims to raise awareness for those in crisis and provide helpful resources to cope with mental illness. One of the issues facing community mental health is the vast spreading of misinformation and disinformation online. As aware citizens, we can stop it from spreading by keeping ourselves informed and aware through reliable sources.

Here is a list of the most reliable websites for mental health awareness to help you do the same.
To learn more about mental illnesses, self-care, and their influence on society, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.

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