May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that one in five U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. For decades, in fact since 1949, May has been set aside as a time to increase awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigmas, and share resources to help people cope and live a higher quality of life. Goodtherapy.org offers five things you can do to help:
1.) Know How to Help
Many people may be experiencing symptoms of mental health issues that aren’t obvious or visible. Learn how to recognize the signs, and know where to go for help if someone you care experiences a crisis.
2.) Share Your Experiences
Whether it’s a story about treatment or how your life is impacted by a mental health issue, sharing your experiences can be powerful for you and others
3.) Understand the Power of Language and How It Can Contribute to Stigma
Commonly used words and phrases can foster misunderstanding which can lead to a reluctance to seek treatment for fear of being perceived as “weak” or “crazy.” Help challenge stigmas by thinking about how words and experiences may feel from a different perspective.
4.) Take Care of Yourself
One of the best ways we can contribute to improved mental health, better relationships, and healthier communities is to make sure we are managing ourselves and meeting our own needs. That’s not as easy as it sounds, especially for people who tend to help others first.
5.) Join the Conversation
Throughout the month, you’ll likely see some hashtags related to Mental Health Awareness Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. There are a few general hashtags you can use to be part of the conversation. They include: