National Mental Illness Awareness Day

Young woman with a kind smile, holding a puzzle piece, surrounded by supportive friends in a cozy cafe..
National mental illness awareness day illustration

Welcome to, your friendly guide to all the weird and wonderful national days out there! Today, we're diving deep into the history and significance of National Mental Illness Awareness Day. Grab a cup of tea and prepare to be informed and entertained!

When is Mental Illness Awareness Day?

It's national mental illness awareness day on the 31st March.

The Internet History of National Mental Illness Awareness Day

Picture this: It's the year 2010, and the world is buzzing with internet memes, cat videos, and some questionable fashion choices (we won't mention those denim vests). In the midst of all this internet chaos, a group of passionate advocates stood up to shed light on an issue close to their hearts: mental illness.

They wanted to create a day that sparked conversations, challenged stigmas, and brought people together to support and raise awareness for those affected by mental illness. And thus, National Mental Illness Awareness Day was born! Since then, this special day has been celebrated annually on March 31st.

On this day, people all over the internet come together to share stories, resources, and encouragement. From heartwarming personal anecdotes to informative articles, the online community takes a united stand against the stigma surrounding mental health.

Through the power of social media, hashtags like #MentalIllnessAwarenessDay and #BreakTheStigma spread like wildfire, reaching millions of users and sparking meaningful discussions across various online platforms. It's truly inspiring to witness the support and compassion that blooms on this day!

A Fun Fact to Brighten Your Day!

Did you know that laughter has been scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce stress? So, while we're raising awareness for mental illness today, don't forget to find time for some laughter therapy! Whether it's a hilarious meme or a silly joke, laughter is a powerful tool for maintaining good mental wellbeing.

History behind the term 'Mental Illness Awareness'


Emergence of the Mental Hygiene Movement

The term 'mental illness awareness' can be traced back to the emergence of the Mental Hygiene Movement in the early 1900s. Led by psychiatrist William James, this movement aimed to improve mental health conditions and raise awareness about mental illnesses, which were often stigmatized at that time. It laid the groundwork for future efforts to understand and combat mental health issues.


World Health Organization's Definition of Mental Health

In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined mental health as 'a state of well-being in which every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.' This definition marked a significant step in recognizing the importance of mental well-being and the need for mental illness awareness on a global scale.


Formation of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

In 1971, a group of individuals affected by mental illnesses formed the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the United States. NAMI sought to educate the public, advocate for better treatment options, and support individuals and families impacted by mental health conditions. Their efforts played a crucial role in raising awareness about mental illnesses and reducing the associated stigma.


Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week was first observed in 1990 by the U.S. Congress as a way to promote public understanding of mental illnesses and advocate for improved mental health resources. It occurs during the first full week of October each year, bringing together organizations, community groups, and individuals to engage in activities that address mental illness stigma and highlight the importance of mental health.


World Mental Health Day Campaigns

Since 2005, World Mental Health Day has been observed annually on October 10th. This day serves as a global platform to raise awareness about mental health issues, promote mental well-being, and advocate for better mental health support systems. Various campaigns and events are organized worldwide to encourage open discussions, educate the public, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.


American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This influential publication provides a standardized criteria set for the diagnosis and classification of mental illnesses. Its release prompted renewed discussions about mental health, triggering increased awareness and understanding of different mental illnesses.

Did you know?

Did you know that laughter has been scientifically proven to boost mood and reduce stress?


romance awareness fun

First identified

9th June 2016

Most mentioned on

31st March 2020

Total mentions


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