GENESEO, N.Y., May 1, 2023 – Livingston County is joining with counterparts throughout the United States including the National Association of Counties in a nation-wide effort to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, reduce barriers to treatment options and eliminate stigmas surrounding mental well-being.
First observed in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to educate the public and advocate for policies that support the millions of people throughout the United States that are impacted by mental illness.
“Livingston County is committed to supporting the mental health of residents throughout its communities,” said David L. LeFeber, Chair of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors. “With an experienced, dedicated staff, modernized services and support measures and important partnerships, Livingston County Mental Health is well-equipped to provide residents with assistance across a wide range of topics.”
Each year, millions of people are affected by mental illness. It’s estimated that one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year while one in six youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder annually. Additionally, roughly 50 percent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24 with anxiety and depression accounting for nearly 30 percent of all mental health-related conditions.
While the numbers indicate a growing problem, a stigma surrounding treatment remains in place as only 47.2 percent of adults with mental illness received help in 2021 while the average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.
Having a mental illness can make simple, everyday tasks seems more difficult. These challenges can ripple through families, communities and the world. Studies have demonstrated that people suffering with depression have a 40 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. Furthermore, individuals with mental illness have a significantly higher risk of substance abuse.
Later this month, the County will author a feature detailing the numerous innovative mental health initiatives that it has implemented along with important partnerships that have been cultivated to provide citizens with reliable, impactful and effective treatment options.
To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month including how you can get involved, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.