Every May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign organized by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). While this is an important issue for the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness in the general population—as well as their loved ones—it’s also particularly pertinent to our community.
Individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developments disabilities (IDDs) are at higher risk for a number of health problems, and this includes mental health concerns. For example, people with Down syndrome and many other IDDS are more likely to have:
- Sleep problems
- Repetitive behaviors
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Impulse-control problems
- Other behavioral and emotional issues
Get Involved This Mental Health Awareness Month
- We encourage everyone to get involved this May during Mental Health Awareness Month. There are lots of ways to do so. Here are some simple ways, facilitated by NAMI:
- Share your own story about mental health. You can do it yourself, or send it to NAMI and they’ll share it with their audience.
- Download some of NAMI’s graphics that are made to be shared on social media—and share them!.
- Take this quiz and pledge about the stigma around mental illness. Then, share them with your friends, family, and coworkers.
- Start a fundraiser or support an existing one. Find more information here on NAMI’s website.
- Check out all these other helpful options for participating at NAMI’s action center.