National Mental Health Awareness Month is observed annually in May. It is a time to raise greater awareness about those living with mental or behavioral health issues by highlighting tools, resources, and education available to address these matters. This is important now, more than ever, because of the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of people of all ages; it is vital to take steps to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health troubles so those who struggle are not discouraged from seeking help.
Mental health issues include a variety of concerns; there are areas of concern that involve one’s social, emotional, or psychological well-being, individually or in different combinations. From conditions including anxiety, depression, personality disorder, psychosis, and others, mental health issues can affect thoughts, feelings, and actions—positive mental health better equips people to handle pressures, be more productive, and fulfill their potential. The goal of National Mental Health Awareness Month is to help people improve their overall mental health and increase their resiliency in the face of stress, worry, anger, change, or trauma.
Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA) aim year-round to help the millions of Americans affected by mental illness to build better lives. But in May, they make extra efforts to fight the stigma of mental illness, provide support to those who are affected, educate the public about what mental illness is and how they can respond to it, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Their main mission is to promote mental health as a critical element of overall health and wellness, with a focus on prevention services, early identification, and intervention for those suffering from mental health problems as well as those most at risk for developing them.
FOR MENTAL HEALTH HELP NOW
Call the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Helpline
In a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741
FOR MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION/TREATMENT REFERRAL
Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline
If we work together in our communities, we can prioritize mental health. We can help people to stay connected, so no one feels as though they are alone. We can spread awareness through education. We can advocate for those affected by mental illness so they can get the support, care, and treatment that they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
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