October is the time to stock up on Halloween candy and prep your home for the chilly weather to come . It’s also an ideal opportunity to educate yourself about mental illness and the toll it takes on people who suffer from conditions such as depression and schizophrenia and those who care about them.

The first full week of the month is Mental Illness Awareness Week. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the theme of this year’s initiative is “connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis.”

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The need for public awareness about and compassion for people living with a mental illness is enormous: More than 44 million adults in this country experience mental illness each year. What's more, according to NAMI, one in five youth and young adults also live with a mental health condition.

To help raise awareness, NAMI is urging individuals, companies and organizations to take its StigmaFree Pledge (#IAmStigmafree) "to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues."

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Begin to learn more about about mental illness in this country by checking out the NAMI infographic below.

NAMI Infographic | Mental Health Facts(Photo: National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMI)