Mental Health Awareness Month
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, nearly 450 million people worldwide live with a mental illness. Unfortunately, two-thirds of people who deal with mental illness don’t ever seek treatment. Mental health has been treated with much stigmatization across cultures and generations. However, it’s not an issue that can continue to be swept under the rug. Now to add, going through a pandemic, which for many the compounding fears of loneliness, infection, grief in losing loved ones, and financial worries made for fertile ground for a mental health crisis.
Our mental health is a significant factor in maintaining our well-being. We have to be able to give it as much consideration, care, and attention as we do our physical health. Everyone should be entitled to have the resources to take care of themselves.
This month, we encourage you to spread mental health awareness in these ways:
- Contact your representative to support bills and policies that allow people equal and equitable access to mental health resources such as doctors, therapists, and medications.
- Sharing resources on your social media. (We have some links at the bottom of this newsletter).
- Encouraging others who share about their mental health journey, and continue to offer your support and listening ear.
- Take time to learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health struggles. Common signs include:
- Excessive worrying or fear.
- Feeling excessively sad or low.
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning.
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria.
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger.
- Avoiding friends and social activities.
No one should have to internalize their mental health struggles out of fear or shame. We wouldn’t attempt to shame a cancer patient out of seeking chemotherapy. We need to end the mental health stigmas that have plagued many from seeking the proper care they need.
For more information, check out the following mental health resources:
If you or someone you know needs help now, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.