What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
The entire month of May has been dedicated to increasing the understanding of mental illness. In this article we will help answer the question, what is Mental Health Awareness Month? We’ll also offer up ideas for things to do for mental health awareness month, so that you can help and be helped.
The History of Mental Health Awareness Month
In 1949, the nonprofit organization, Mental Health America, established May as Mental Health Awareness Month. The issues around mental health were recognized, and the organization sought to bring attention to the growing problem. They also wanted to provide ways to educate the public on the truth of mental illness, raise consciousness on current treatments for and research on mental illness, and to acknowledge and celebrate the stories of recovery from mental illnesses.
While the efforts were strong, and the inception of Mental Health Awareness Month and what it is has helped many people understand mental illness, there’s a lot of work to be done. Mental Health America started the charge, and we can continue their legacy now every May.
The Pervasiveness of Mental Illness
Mental illness is a major issue that has historically been ignored and stigmatized. With an estimated 57.8 million people living with a mental illness in the United States alone, it can no longer be brushed aside or judged. Said another way, one in every five adults in the U.S. is struggling with their mental health. It is an issue for everyone, whether it’s you or a loved one.
Often when the statistics of mental illness are considered, we associate that data with a diagnosis of something like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, or major depressive disorder. Those numbers are enough to garner an understanding of what Mental Health Awareness Month is, and the desire to help, but the truth is, many mental health conditions can persist beneath the surface without a proper diagnosis. The highest prevalence of mental illness is among those aged 18-25, at 33.7% – young adults contending with life transitions from childhood to adulthood.
Because we all know people who struggle with their mental health, let’s discuss some things to do for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Things to Do For Mental Health Awareness Month
There are things big and small we can each do during Mental Health Awareness Month, to share what it is, to reduce the stigma, and to support those in our communities living with mental health concerns.
Mental Health Action Day
May 19th is Mental Health Action Day. Many organizations take this opportunity to vocally support services, funding, and advocacy for mental health on a global level. For example, 2023 sees the Biden-Harris administration spearheading its inaugural Mental Health Youth Action Forum. Hosted by Selena Gomez, featuring 30 youth mental health advocates, the event promises to draw positive attention to the cause.
Donate or Volunteer
With a quick search, you can find an organization that needs your help. You can donate financially or give some of your time through volunteer work. The impact of each action is great, and greatly appreciated by everyone who knows what Mental Health Awareness Month is, and all it does for the community.
Educate Yourself and Others
There has never been more information at our fingertips than now. With books, articles, podcasts, and even TikTok, there is no shortage of information on mental illness. When you can fully answer the question, what is Mental Health Awareness Month? you can start teaching others about it, and the chain of compassion and knowledge grows.
Share Your Story
Whether your experience of mental health is your own journey or that of a loved one, it helps to put it out there. When we all share, the feeling of isolation and shame is reduced, and we can connect over the shared goals of finding clarity, balance, and happiness. Being brave and vulnerable seems small, but it’s actually one of the biggest things to do for Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mental Health Care at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy
Now that you know what Mental Health Awareness Month is, and ways you can be involved, hopefully you realize that mental illness is a reality, but it does not define anyone. There are ways to begin the healing process, no matter what. Miami Hypnosis and Therapy is led by Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. Her credentials, Ivy League education, and approach to treatment, differentiate her from a lot of other therapists in Miami.
Contact us now to find out more, and to start the healing journey for you or someone you love.