May is Mental Health Month and an opportunity to increase awareness about a concern that, unfortunately, is still something many people still don't understand.
Mental health is a core component of overall health, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime.
While access to treatment has expanded under the Affordable Care Act, far too many people living with a mental health issue don't seek treatment, due in part to the stigma still associated with mental illness.
One way to break the stigma is for people who are facing a mental health issue to be open about their condition and their treatment, and so to raise awareness of mental health concerns, I am coming out as someone with mental health issues.
I am a suicide attempt survivor who has struggled with depression, anxiety and dependency on alcohol. I am a living testament to the fact that mental health is treatable and manageable and that my issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
Letting others who may be suffering know that recovery is possible and that there are good people who want to help is my central motivation for sharing this, and I hope that my words will inspire someone who is struggling to reach out to a trusted friend or loved one and ask for help without fear or shame.