May is #MentalHealthAwareness Month
Every May since 1949, the US has acknowledged May as Mental Health Awareness Month: a month to raise awareness about mental health and mental illness, provide support to those in need, and advocate socially and politically for the mentally ill.
When it comes to celebrating and acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Month, one of the first things you can do is learn and spread knowledge. This is obviously a great way to help others learn and feel less alone, but it can also be beneficial for you. Understanding the nuances of mental health, and ways to get help when you need it, is always a good idea.
Worldwidementalhealth.org states that we are in the middle of a mental health crisis, with 950 million people worldwide affected by mental illness in some form. This has coincided with rising rates of stress and anxiety. Understanding how to combat stress and its effects using exercise, meditation, or creative activity, can be a great first step in improving your own mental health.
It’s also important to know where you can go and what you can do when those self-made remedies aren’t quite enough. Therapy is a great and valid way to stay in touch with your mental health, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and build support systems. There are also a variety of hotlines and digital resources for those in need, which will be included at the bottom of this article.
Mental Health Awareness Month is also about, well, raising awareness. This month, the National Alliance on Mental Health is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with their #MoreThanEnough campaign, which they describe as “an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold” and a way to encourage folks to remember that they are more than deserving of enough love, care, and support. They encourage anyone and everyone to share their support and why they are more than enough on social media, using the #MoreThanEnough hashtag.
Raising awareness about mental health and mental illness can save lives, and can make your own life significantly better.
Mental Health Hotlines:
988 is the Suicide and Crisis Hotline. (Available via calling or texting) * Pressing 1 after dialing 988 provides veterans with access to a 24/7 Crisis Support Line for veterans and loved ones
1-800-662-HELP (4357) is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline for anyone facing mental health or substance abuse related crisis
1-800-366-8288 is the Self-Injury and Self-Harm Helpline
1-888-843-4564 is the Helpline for LGBT+ individuals in need of mental health help
800-656-4673 is the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) Helpline
Online Mental Health Resources: