May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an observance established in 1949 to end the stigma associated with mental illness, to provide support for those with a condition, to educate the broader community on what mental illness is or is not, and to share ways to have and maintain mental wellness.
With this year’s theme of Risky Business, organizers of Mental Health Awareness Month, Mental Health America, want to show how certain behaviors can cause mental health issues to form, worsen, or possibly serve as signs that a mental health condition is present.
As mental health professionals, here are several ways to continue shining a light on mental health throughout this dedicated time of recognition.
- Tell friends and family that it’s Mental Health Awareness Month and start a dialogue about why such a month is needed.
- Share on your social media accounts the various graphics that organizations advocating for mental health awareness have created and are sharing for this month. Many list facts and figures about mental health that highlight the challenges individuals with mental health illnesses face, or counteract stereotypes or false beliefs about mental illness.
- Practice self-care in some way every day to maintain your own mental wellness.
- Participate in a mental health awareness-related event in your area, like the mental health resource fair to be held in Greensboro, May 13; or the 2nd Annual Special Hoops 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on May 6 where you can serve as a volunteer.
- Listen to mental health-related news and podcasts to stay informed of what’s happening in the industry and how it’s impacting those with mental health challenges.