Mental health does not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition, yet only a fraction receive professional help. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Here’s what you need to know.
From MTV to US News and World Report to very possibly your own household, people across the country are talking about mental health. COVID, increasing issues among young adults, and previously unheard of suicide rates are rocking the nation and the world. With all the information and resources out there, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
Wondering how to boost mental health among employees and colleagues? Read this.
Wondering if online programs can help your employees or co-workers? Read this.
Looking for tips to boost wellbeing while employees are working remotely during COVID? Read this.
Wondering how to know if it’s time to get help? Read this.
Wondering if it could be PTSD? Read this.
Wondering if it's possible to break an addiction? Read this.
Trying to understand what led to a suicide attempt? Read this first-person perspective.
Wondering if your coping habits could be turning into an addiction? Read this.
Wondering why all the hype about spirituality in healing? Read this.
Wondering what can help you recover from trauma? Read this.
Physical and emotional wellbeing taking a hit? Read this.
The Beatles said it well - we get by with a little help from our friends. Participating in events helps build awareness, support, and a sense of community. Here are a few places you can find out about things going on this month.
Hope Recovery and Healing events calendar lists virtual and in-person events happening in Utah and nationwide.
Connect Summit County is sponsoring a variety of events throughout the month, both in English and in Spanish.
Mental Health Action Day
In the wake of COVID-19, millions of people have uncovered new mental health conditions and millions more have had their existing challenges exacerbated. We must take action now to meet the needs of our communities and identify opportunities to build long-term resilience. -www.mentalhealthactionday.org
There's a lot of excitement and support building for Mental Health Action Day. Companies and groups across the country are participating, from MTV to Headspace and Kenneth Cole to Kate Spade. Find out more here.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering many events, resources, and promotional material to help raise awareness this month. In Utah, specifically, you can sign up for dates to hear stories of those living with mental health challenges. Sign up for "In Our Own Voice" series here.
"During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families" (nami.org).
Mental Healthy F.I.T.
This non-profit group partners with many other groups and companies. They have a series of events happening this month as well. They feature stories, resources, and more. Check it out here.
On Your Own
You can take a 21-day mental health challenge!
Or you can create your own calendar of events for self-care. Consider some of these ideas:
Regardless of sex, race, creed, or socio-economic status, anyone can experience challenges of traumatic experiences or mental illness. Mental health conditions do not discriminate. But the same is not true when it comes to access to services and treatment for mental health. Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to start changing this.
In many communities, trauma and mental health problems are exacerbated by limited access to care, cultural stigma, and compromised quality of care. We can all do something to help. Learn more about Bebe Moore Campbell at Mental Health America.
One in every 5 adults experiences a mental health condition; 1 in 25 experiences a serious mental illness (e.g. bipolar disorder or schizophrenia). Although Baby Boomers may not have had open dialogue or ready access to resources, it's not like that anymore. We are learning more about mental health conditions. We know now that 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. We know now that there is variance and evolution in mental health conditions; even two people with the same conditions may experience them differently. We know that medication combined with therapy can be more effective than either one alone. We know that getting help early is important.
We know that relief from symptoms is possible. And that healing from traumatic events is possible. We have more access to mental health services and support groups, both online and in person, than in the history of mankind. While there still may be stigma surrounding mental health conditions, advocacy, education, and awareness are helping to turn the tide.
This month, check in with someone you care about. Take time to listen. Ask questions about their struggles. Consider attending a mental health month event together. This month, have the courage to talk about hard things. You can foster more open dialogue about mental health challenges and resources. This month, take self-inventory. Are you on the path you want to be on? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin? Could you use some support on your journey? Together, we can build a happier, healthier society.