Mental Health

Awareness Month

Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with mental illness, whether it is their own challenge or that of a loved one. During May in the U.S., the focus is on raising awareness of mental health by fighting stigma, providing support, educating the public and advocating for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.

Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community or society.

Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, geography, income, race/ethnicity, etc. While mental illness can occur at any age, three-fourths of all mental illnesses begin by age 24.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million—experiences mental illness in a given year
  • Roughly 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder

It can be tough to tell if troubling behavior in a child is just part of growing up or a problem that should be discussed with a health professional. Visit the Mayo Clinic’s helpful information about mental health disorders and signs to look for in children and teens.

If you are a parent and need help starting a conversation with your child or teen about mental health, visit If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your pediatrician or family doctor or visit National Mental Health Institute’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.

Mental illnesses take many forms. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears). Other mental health conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital. You can find more information about the most common types of mental disorders here.

The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives. Treatment depends on the type of mental illness, its severity and what works best for the individual. In many cases, a combination of treatments works best. If it’s a mild mental illness with well-controlled symptoms, treatment from one health care provider may be sufficient. However, often a team approach is appropriate to make sure all psychiatric, medical and social needs are met.

Pearson offers several resources for help with mental illness:

  • Take advantage of MDLive Therapy. As a Pearson employee, you have access to MDLIVE Therapy, where you can receive behavioral health therapy right in the comfort of your own home. Learn more here
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides unlimited, no cost, telephonic counseling and up to five, free face-to-face sessions. Visit Cigna EAP or call 1.800.593.4138 to find out more information
  • Care Management Programs – These programs offered by Anthem, Cigna and Aetna offer the assistance of behavioral specialists for mental health care
  • Psychological and psychiatric care are part of your medical plan coverage. Visit Anthem, Cigna or Aetna websites to search for providers

Stigma harms those affected by mental health conditions shaming those dealing with such disorders into silence and prevents them from seeking help. The StigmaFree campaign is an effort by the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s to end stigma. Take the StigmaFree Pledge today.