May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
How do you feel about Mental Health Awareness Month?
What’s the story
- Each May is dedicated to National Mental Health Awareness Month, raising awareness of the importance of mental health toward overall wellbeing. This month calls attention to the need to fight the stigma around mental health, provide support and health resources, and educate the public on the causes and impacts of mental health struggles.
Recent news and important facts
- President Joe Biden released a proclamation recognizing National Mental Health Awareness Month this year, highlighting the COVID-19 pandemic’s role in exacerbating mental health issues.
- According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans lives with a mental health condition, meaning you likely know someone who is impacted by a mental health illness. Worldwide, 450 million people have a mental illness, representing 1 in 4 people.
- One in 20 Americans lives with serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or long-term recurring major depression.
- Mental health stigma, prejudice, and discrimination often lead people to delay or avoid seeking treatment. The American Psychiatry Association reports that more than half of people with mental illness do not receive help for their disorders. Despite the efforts made by the government, 10.3 percent of adults with mental illnesses are uninsured, making treatment inaccessible.
- Mental health stigma and other persisting barriers to access affect everyone. Studies have found that men are less likely to seek mental health treatment and are more likely to die by suicide. Women report higher rates of depression, some eating disorders, and are more likely than men to attempt suicide. Disparities in treatment also vary by race, with people of color less likely to seek out or have access to mental health services than white people. And youth in America are facing a mental health crisis. No matter who you are, mental health matters.
Ways to Take Action
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek immediate help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is free, confidential, and open 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also chat online with their Lifeline Crisis Chat here.
Take care of yourself
- It starts with you. Practice self care, incorporate a mental health app into your daily routine or implement some other ways to improve your mental health, and check in with yourself and your loved ones.
- You don’t need to be actively resolving a mental health issue to go to therapy. Read this article to see if you could benefit from mental health counseling.
- Not sure where to start? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control provides resources here for how you or someone you want to help can connect with trained mental health professionals. The National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI) also has resources, including how to find a health care provider or treatment, and ways to learn more about mental disorders. The New York Times also recently published an article with tips and tricks for finding a therapist who is a good fit.
Donate or Volunteer
- The National Alliance for Mental Illness has many ways you can get involved and take action to help improve mental health in your community, including hosting a fundraiser, participating in awareness events, and sharing your story.
- So many volunteer opportunities are essential to helping with your community’s well being, including mental health. Volunteering at a nursing home, helping to clean a local park, or donating money to a mental health charity can all help. For a more direct volunteer opportunity, learn more about how to become a Crisis Counselor for crisis text lines.
-Jamie Epstein and Casey Dawson
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There is still too much stigma associated with mental illness and the needs of some people to avail themselves of available services which they may need.
Even just a titled period of time dedicated to awareness at least puts some of these needs and resources into focus and should lead to a better acceptance by the populous.
Hard to express a feeling here. I'm glad that we're making a month of awareness of mental health (although I believe May is also Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness Month). However, I'm sad that we have to dedicate a month to being aware of mental health at all.
The 'greatest country in the world' has some of the worst healthcare in the world, and certainly the most expensive. We also have the highest suicide rate among the 11 wealthiest nations. Mental healthcare is not fully covered for far too many Americans, and if some on the right had their way, would not be covered at all.
Not to mention, these constant attacks on children of color and LGBT youth under the guise of "protecting them" can cause even more feelings of hopelessness and despair, which could increase the rates of depression and suicide for decades to come.
We've been hearing for years how the suicide rate and the mass shooting rate are the results of mental health, yet there has been NO increase in funding for mental health in this country in over a decade while the GOP tries to erode the protections in the ACA at every opportunity.
I wish this May all leaders would do something real: pass healthcare reform that improves the affordability and accessibility to mental healthcare and stop discrimination and bullying from political leaders.
Loaded question! I feel happy that mental health has become a topic. Awareness is the first step in addressing mental health needs. We need health plans that include mental health and citizens need access to complete healthcare.
Another worthless National Recognition Day. We once had mental health facilities. Then the government cut funding, reduced inspections finally eliminated any financial help entirely. Causing them to close completely. If we had these facilities up and running, volunteers could have a safe place to help. One major factor of mental health is on our streets, in our parks, tent cities, broke down motor homes along vacant areas. This is a political joke. We have a real need but our politicians turn a blind eye, because these folks do not contribute to their campaign coffers. It is sad what happened to Mrs. Judd, only one of millions out there. Family can only do so much, insurance companies are in it for profit, so that shows how much help they provide. And our government just wants to pay one person a merger wage and have that individual depend on volunteers. Yep another National Recognition Day.
Mental illness is all year long. It does not occur in a month. Like black, Latin, Asian month it needs to be taught all year long. Resources are needed all year long.
I have worked in the field for over ten years. We need to constantly discuss, referral, and understand that mental illness displays differently.
We need to train the police when they conduct a welfare check.
I did have experience of a police officer who responded to a welfare check. He had to deal with 6 angry case managers who knew the the officer was not equip to handle the situation. There was absolutely no fatalities.
I will leave you with one resource and something for you to research in your area: 1 you can always contact United Way for Resources 2. Find out if your city borders area has a mobile crisis unit.
Elementary Schools need more Counselors. One Counselor per 700 students is unrealistic, especially considering all of the non-Guidance duties that Counselors are given. For example being Test Administrator for MAP testing is a waste of time. Bus Duty and Cafeteria Duty are not useful for some with so many Guidance responsibilities
Awareness month is good if accompanied by initiatives and unifies the many organizations involved to improve conditions. Several Federal, State, Local and private initiatives are planned for May so hopefully the out reach helps and those in need are aware of the many resources available. Whether it helps can only be seen in the numbers of patients and their outcomes.
National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is using Mental Health Awareness Month to amplify their message of “Together for Mental Health”, and advocate for mental health and access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements and national events.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a series of events for children and adults focusing on peer support, practitioner training & suicide prevention
American Hospital Association (AHA). Community Hospitals create partnerships to address behavioral health issues in non-traditional ways through the integration of physical and behavioral health services, changes in their emergency departments and inpatient and outpatient settings, and via community partnerships.
The National Council is a group of 3,100+ member organizations to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing – Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the year, they fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental health and substance use challenges.
At a personal level I usually contribute to charities that different friends are involved with whether volunteering or using the services.
Sampling of National, State, Lical, Private Organizations
We also need to do a better job of treating people with addictions with compassion.
Locking people away for drugs is cruel and ineffective, often setting them on a path to stay in "the system", when really they needed rehabilitation to help them with mental healthcare.
Prison is not the answer, and it is not cost effective.
More awareness needed, as well as funding.
Ultimately, mental health is not only a product of personal choices i.e. drugs and alcohol, but also diet. We are what we eat! If we continue to eat foods that contain enormous amounts of ingredients other than the ingredient that we’re choosing to eat, we may be suffering the side effects of those additional ingredients; preservatives!
I'm sick of these awareness weeks that generate a lot of money that ultimately end up in some hole. Every hospital should have a psych unit that could assess and hold people until they could be placed in appropriate living situations. Supervised housing of all levels of care need to be built and properly staffed. Laws need to be amended so that families have more power to obtain help for their loved ones. I could never understand how a mentally ill person could be expected to make a sane decision to get help or help is denied.
Lastly, we must more aggressively address addiction. Anyone notice the more we legalize drugs the more addiction and mental health issues we have? Duh?!
Tucker Carlson / Dumbkopf & similar loud mouths speech are not free speech. Say anything about dumbkopf and he will sue you! Words have consequences. So when are all these liars and bigoted scum going to be held accountable for the immense damage they have and are continuing to cause?
shame on congress
shame on the judiciary
shame on scotus
Better check the lost man in the white house than because he is mentally ill.
This guy needs help but more so those who voted for him and people like him...
striking pattern of unusual behavior: speeding without a valid driver’s license; taking a firearm through security at an airport; wearing lingerie in photos; appearing in a video in which a staffer pantomimes a grab for his groin; gyrating naked on top of another man in bed; accusing unnamed lawmakers of inhaling cocaine and inviting him to an orgy; promoting a cryptocurrency in ways that prompted critics to claim he engaged in insider trading; and calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “a thug.”
Oh and one more thing - endorsed by dumbkopf himself
if this is the caliber of our congress reps then its obvious where we are headed?
3 guesses who this is?
Buffalo shootings bigger than the 18 yo perpetrator. Don't need to look far. Dumbkopf opened wide the gates for hate and anti immigrant to sow chaos for self aggrandizing enabled by all the shallow minds of self deluding self serving 'patriots' 'conservatives' 'EVILangicals' etc. Easy access to guns.
shame on congress
shame on scotus
I am sorry for and at the same time fear those that sturggle with the condition. I pray for early detection, early intervention with extremely qualified people. I think our government should be the first to weed them our of branches of government!
Waste of time.
How lovely, now we have " mental health month". Too bad we don't HAVE any mental health caregivers, facilities or clinics to give out mental health. 💙
Not only availability. It is quality and cost. Why is a canister of SMA infant formula (the UK equivalent of Similac/Enfamil) €9.75 BUT THE SAME QUANITY and lower quality is double the price here in the US.
America's kids are getting screwed over by a gerontocracy of unfettered, unregulated capitalism at every singe stage of their life.
This is a regulatory problem that could be solved (short term) with an executive pen stroke!
If we need to fight a civil war to end the war on childhood, then so be it. I am done with 40 years of greedy boomer policies that don't give a damn about the generational trauma to the four generations children saddled with paying the Boomer tab while being expected to starve!
The only ones who can afford to live in the US are upper middle class and above Boomers.
We not only need runs to Canada for children to have insulin, but it would appear we also we runs for infants formula.
This is disgusting! It is no way to run the wealthiest nation on planet earth.
I'd say thatwhat works best mental health-wise is both subjective & specific to each individual, something that might calm me down could be the thing that makes someone else jump out of their skin & as for the baby formula well, what did people do do before that stuff was around? we didn't always have such conveniences & this herd has been thriving since forever so much so in fact, that we've displaced serveral other species in the process