May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and on this important issue, we are diving into some of the extraordinary ways that leaders across North Texas are pulling together to destigmatize, understand, treat and prevent mental illness and mood disorders. This month-long series will feature progress being made in finding cures and adding resources needed by our community. 

There are 7.1 million people in the Dallas metroplex. Our growth is making headlines, and the local arts and culture scene is not to be underestimated. But alongside tremendous business development and a something-for-everyone environment, there is one factor that we, in company with the nation’s other major cities, are wrestling with: mental health.

Studies show that one in six people will develop a mood disorder in their lifetime, and the average duration between experiencing symptoms and receiving a diagnosis is often 10 to 12 years. That means that nearly 1.2 million of our residents – our friends, family members, and coworkers – will be impacted and many of them will suffer for far too long before they understand why or how to manage.

Southwestern Medical Foundation was formed in 1939 with the intention to build a great medical center in Dallas. The purpose behind that intention that was eloquently stated by our visionary founder, Dr. Edward H. Cary:

“To use every spark of human knowledge – the delicately attuned hands and eyes of the best trained minds, the newest and finest of mechanical instruments, all the arts and sciences known to man – that this, the Southwest, may be a healthier, happier place in which to live.”

This purpose remains unchanged, and it lives at our core. We know that the impact of mental health issues on our community is widespread, and we believe that addressing it effectively requires what has been learned to be disseminated and shared.

Stay tuned to swmedical.org and our social media channels to hear from leaders across our region throughout the month of May.