Mental Illness Awareness Week
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, NAMI and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness, fight discrimination and provide support through Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).
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. Since 1990, when Congress officially established the first full week of October as MIAW, advocates have worked together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.
This year’s MIAW is centered around our new awareness campaign, “Together for Mental Health,” where the focus will be on the importance of advocating for better care for people with serious mental illness (SMI). Each day throughout the week, we will be raising the voices of people with lived experience to talk about SMI and the need for improved crisis response and mental health care.
Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 3–9 and coincides with additional related events:
- 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