May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since 1949, America has celebrated May as the month to spread awareness of Mental Health. Each year millions of people are effected by Mental Illness. As the Pandemic continues it has left a profound impact on those with mental health illnesses. There has been an increase in acts of violence against African American and Asian Americans along with mass shootings in various states. Additionally, there has been an increase in depression and anxiety amongst every socio-economic and ethnic class. The increase in undesired symptoms identifies the continued need for awareness of Mental Health education along with the need for additional services.
It is important that we reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The stigma prevents people from seeking help. Without help, individuals suffer without ever addressing their concerns. Let’s change the conversation and shift our thinking. Together, we can better serve those dealing with mental illness.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Educate yourself. There are a number of sites that you can learn more about mental health. Check out the list below.
- Listen and don’t shame. If you know someone who is experiencing a mental health issue/crisis, obligate yourself to listening to them. You don’t have to agree or understand to listen.
- Encourage someone to seek help. Your agreement with this is irrelevant; this is about them. Encourage them to seek help by contacting their insurance provider or by going to Psychology Today, Therapy Den, or another therapy locator site.
- Offer to support them by making the call or searching online with them.
- If you see a change in someone you know, say something. Either directly to them or someone you know who loves/cares about them. See something; Say something.
National Alliance on Mental Health- https://www.nami.org
Mental Health America - https://www.mhanational.org/live-b4stage4