NATIONWIDE — Sunday kicks off Mental Illness Awareness week and it is a time when experts are reminding people of how widespread the effects of mental illness are.

What You Need To Know

  • First week of October is Mental Illness Awareness week

  • One in five adults in America experience mental illness each year

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five adults in America experience mental illness each year and one in 20 experience severe mental illness.

​In 1990, Congress established the first week of October to serve as Mental Illness Awareness week.

Experts say ever since then, there has been a huge positive impact when it comes to treatment, and linking people to needed resources.

They say it is as important as ever to consider now, given the effect the pandemic has had on many peoples' mental health.

"People can have availability to the resources that are needed to help them either care for someone with mental health issues, or get the help they need themselves for dealing with mental health," said Dr. Rufus Barfield, a human behavior expert a the University of Central Florida.

There are several events the National Alliance of Mental Illness has listed for this week, including a Day of Prayer, and Depression Screening Day.

It all wraps up next Sunday with the World Mental Health Day. Read more here.