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National Mental Illness Awareness Week

National Mental Illness Awareness Week

October 4, 2023

October 1st-7th is National Mental Illness Awareness Week and the New York City District Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund, in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to provide support to those seeking treatment, would like to promote this cause to our members and their dependents. 

Did you know that 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year, and 1 in 20 adults experience a serious mental illness? In New York State alone, over 2.8 million adults have a mental health condition- that’s more than 10 times the population of Buffalo. Common mental illness diagnoses include anxiety disorders, major depression, addiction/substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). 

According to a 2023 report from Mental Health America, 56% of adults with mental illness have not received any mental health treatment. Individuals may face many barriers when attempting to receive treatment, such as a shortage of mental health professionals, lack of insurance/affordable treatment, social stigma, and the lack of education and awareness regarding mental health.

The Fund Office is encouraging our members to be more active in fighting the social stigma of mental illness by doing the following:

– Meet with a medical professional to discuss your mental health and potential treatment options,

– Educate yourself about mental health (we’ve included some resources at the bottom of this article),

– Speak openly about your mental health with your family and close friends,

– Check in with your co-workers about their mental health. (Asking someone how they’re doing, listening, and sharing your own experiences all go a long way),

– Be conscious of language regarding mental health,

– Show compassion for those with mental illness and for those serving as caretaker for someone with mental illness,

– Focus on empowerment over shame, for yourself and for others.

We would also like to remind you of the Members Education and Network for Dependency (“MEND”) program, designed to provide members and their dependents access to confidential treatment for mental health issues and substance use. MEND is a confidential program led by licensed clinicians, and is provided at no cost to members and their dependents. Our accredited staff offers assessment, support, and referrals for both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

If you or one of your dependents is struggling with substance use or mental health, please contact the MEND Program at 212-366-7590 or, or visit the MEND office at 395 Hudson Street, 5th Floor, New York, New York, 10014.

To learn more about the MEND program, please visit the MEND homepage at


Additional Resources:

Mental Health Facts and Statistics:

Mental Health in New York:

Ways to Fight Mental Health Stigma:

Dealing with Internalized Stigma:

Tips to Navigate Mental Health Challenges in Your Family: