Mental Health Awareness Month: Understanding the Landscape for those with Learning Disabilities

As we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month this May, it is important to shed light on the intersectionality of mental health and various aspects of our lives. From education to work, relationships to personal growth, our mental well-being plays a central role in every facet of our existence. In our ongoing conversations about mental health, it’s important to recognize the diverse range of experiences and challenges that individuals face. For many, learning disabilities add an extra layer of complexity to their mental health journey. Studies have shown that individuals with learning disabilities are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders at higher rates than their non-disabled peers.


During a previous campaign, members and alumni from our Young Adult Leadership Council expressed their concerns about mental health in a video to shed light on issues and share solidarity for those with similar experiences. 



This month, we’re asking our community to rally together to shed light on this topic in hopes of raising awareness and advocating for those navigating the intersection of learning disabilities and mental health. Whether you’re a researcher, policymaker, educator, parent/caregiver, or part of the learning-disabled community, there are steps we can all take to promote mental well-being:


  • Researchers– Prioritize research on the intersection of mental health and learning disabilities. Include mental health measures in your data collection and involve learning-disabled individuals in the research process.
  • Policymakers–Advocate for increased funding for mental health support within schools and communities. Work to end harmful practices and promote inclusive policies that support the mental well-being of all individuals.
  • Educators– Create a supportive and inclusive classroom environment that recognizes the interconnectedness of mental health and learning disabilities. Focus on students’ strengths while providing support for their challenges.
  • Parents and caregivers– Engage in open and honest conversations about mental health with your children. Equip them with the skills to self-advocate and seek support when needed. Embrace their disability identity and empower them to embrace their uniqueness.
  • Learning disabled community– Know that you are not alone. Seek out support networks and communities that understand and embrace your experiences. Advocate for your needs and speak out against stigma and discrimination.

Check out this Conversation about the Mental Health Needs of Students with Learning Disabilities