top of page

Mental Health Awareness Month

Updated: 7 days ago

Mental Health Awareness Month is an annual campaign dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues. The month of May is chosen because it's the month when many people celebrate the importance of mental health and wellness.

Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) was first observed in 1949 by Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of Americans with mental illness and substance use disorders.

Mental Health America's theme for Mental Health Awareness Month 2023 is "Look Around, Look Within." The goal of this year's campaign is to encourage Americans to take charge of their own mental health and well-being by investing time in activities that make them feel happier and more fulfilled through housing stability, creating bonds within the community, and exploring nature.

How are people affected by mental health challenges?

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people in their lifetime. That’s why it’s important to talk about why mental health matters and find counseling if you are struggling with one or more of these issues.

Mental health issues can range from mild to severe and may impact someone's ability to function in everyday life. The good news is that they're treatable!

People with mental health issues often find it difficult to get help due to stigma, shame, or fear of judgment. But it's important to talk about mental health problems because they are treatable, and recovery is possible — even when it seems like there's no hope.

How To Know When It's Time To Get Support?

If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma or anxiety, such as feeling sad or frantic most days of the week or finding it difficult to sleep or concentrate, talk with your doctor about getting support. Your doctor may recommend therapy or medication to help reduce symptoms like sadness or anxiety so that life gets easier again.

If you're experiencing any symptoms, including sadness or irritability; sleeping too much or too little; feeling like you're unable to enjoy things you used to enjoy; having trouble concentrating or making decisions; avoiding once pleasurable activities; and feeling like life isn't worth living anymore, then it's time for support.

If Someone Close To Me Has a Mental Health Issue — What Should I Do?

If someone close to you has a mental health issue, it can be difficult to know what to do. If they are your spouse or partner, you may be concerned that they will leave you. If they are your parent or child, you may worry about their safety and well-being.

The most important thing you can do is learn as much as possible about the condition and how it affects people with it. The more you understand about the problem and what causes it, the better equipped you will be to help the person suffering from it.

You might also want to consider talking with a counselor specializing in the issue affecting your loved one. A therapist can help you learn how best to support your loved one through this difficult time in his or her life while also helping you deal with any stress caused by their illness.

Try having an open and honest conversation with the person about your concerns. Let them know that you care about them and that you are concerned about their well-being. You may want to discuss what type of help is available in your community and how it can be accessed.

If someone close to you has a mental health issue, it’s important for them to see a professional therapist or counselor who can help them understand their feelings, emotions, and behaviors. It’s also important for you as a friend or family member to support them through this process. Below are some tips on how best to help: Listen Without Judgment or Criticism. Try not to make judgments about their situation or tell them what they “should” be doing differently (such as taking their medication). Instead of saying things like “You need to get out more” or “You need therapy,” just listen when they talk about their feelings and concerns with you. Being listened to without judgment or interference is one of the most important things anyone can give another person.

Encourage Them To Seek Help. Sometimes, it can be hard to admit that we need help — especially if we've been struggling with our mental health for a while and have gotten used to living with it. But when someone close to us opens up about their struggles, it can be really difficult not to want to do something about it. However, if they don't want your help or advice right now, respect their wishes and let them know that you're there whenever they need help or support in the future.

Listen Carefully. When someone close to you confides in you about their mental health struggles, it’s important to listen carefully and take them seriously. It can be difficult for people who feel isolated and alone to find someone who will listen without judgment or criticism. Sometimes, just having someone who cares enough about them to listen can give them the courage they need to seek the help they need. Take note of what they are saying and what they are doing. For example, if they were previously very depressed but went through a big change and are deleted and have recently gotten rid of their belongings, this can be a warning sign of suicide plans.