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Mental Illness Awareness Week: The surgeon general on stigma

While the overall smoking rate among U.S. adults is just under 17 percent, the rates among people with mental illnesses—nearly 10 million people in the past year—can be more than double that.

When U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy joined Truth Initiative for a conversation earlier this year, part of the organization's Warner Series, he not only challenged youth to #FinishIt and drive smoking rates down to zero, he also discussed the importance of mental health and combating the stigma surrounding mental illness.

“It takes an average 10 years from the time symptoms arise to the time people actually get diagnosed, and during those 10 years people are suffering,” Murthy said. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to actually change how we and the people around us think about mental illness.”

For Mental Illness Awareness Week, watch the surgeon general discuss three ways we can fight stigma and support mental health.