Therapist with patient and her family
By School of Behavioral Health - May 1, 2019

The School of Behavioral Health at Loma Linda University has long recognized the importance of mental health and its impact on the individual, the family, and society. The School has graduated more than 3,000 clinicians who are providing needed care ranging from direct client services to advocacy at local and state levels.

Each year, our nation celebrates the importance of mental health through May’s designation as “Mental Health Month.” This tradition began in 1949 through the organization Mental Health America (MHA), and its purpose is to recognize the importance of intervention, decrease stigma to those seeking services, and increase access to services.

Right now in the United States, nearly one out of every five adults is living with a mental illness (46.6 million). Young adults aged 18-25 have the highest prevalence rate for mental illness at 25.8% (source: The National Institute of Mental Health). Further, the suicide rate in the U.S. is staggering; it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with one suicide occurring approximately every 12 minutes. This speaks to the need for more qualified clinicians to provide services in a myriad of settings.

In the past, there has been a significant social stigma attached to people seeking mental health services. While the strong connection between mental health and physical health is now recognized and widely acknowledged, there are still ways to improve both societal attitudes toward mental health and access to sufficient care for those who need it. At Loma Linda University, we focus particularly on whole person care and emphasize the importance of living a lifestyle that embraces all aspects of human wellness.

As we celebrate Mental Health Month, the words of Maya Angelou speak to the importance of human connection: "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Watch for more Mental Health Month information on our social media channels throughout May!