May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but North Carolina Health News has shone a spotlight on mental health issues in the state for more than a decade.

In fact, we’re the only outlet in the state with a dedicated mental health reporter and regular coverage.

More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children are affected too, with more than 1 in 5 youth ages 13-18 either experiencing a seriously debilitating mental illness or having experienced one at some point during their life, the CDC said.

Mental health issues are complex, requiring a lot of time and in-depth study to report on accurately. We take the time to do that.

Mental health affects everyone. We all strive for mental wellness. Most people have a family member or friend who has sought mental health treatment or have sought help themselves.

We strive to cover all areas of mental health: intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use, adolescent and adult mental illness, severe and persistent mental illness, recovery solutions, failures of the mental health system, mental health policy, and the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system.

NC Health News reporters consistently field calls from patients and their families seeking help navigating the complex and broken mental health system. Even as many of these calls don’t lead to stories, we regularly lend a listening ear and point them to local resources.

Read our award-winning mental health reporting here. Find resources on mental health issues here.

You can support this vital reporting by donating today!