Stigma. That’s what we are trying to overcome regarding mental health. A projected 1 in 5 are affected, yet less than 42% will ever seek assistance. As long as we ignore the prominence of mental illness we will fail ourselves and our society at large. It is past time that we opened up about seeking the help that we need. That is what Mental Health Awareness month is all about.
Mental health is imperative for our overall wellbeing. As our emotional, mental and physical health are all intrinsically woven, it is imperative that we take care of each. Historically, mental illness has been a shame that people worked hard to hide. We are taking action to change that.
An estimated 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. From anxiety and depression to bi-polar disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder, mental illness is a serious issue that affects not just families, but businesses and society at large.
Approximately 1/3 of our homeless population suffers from some form of mental illness. From depression to schizophrenia, inflicted individuals can find themselves homeless multiple times over the course of a lifetime. By removing the stigma and encouraging those persons to seek out the help they need, we can rebuild our communities.
In 1949, the Mental Health America, (now known as the National Association of Mental Health), initiated Mental Health Awareness month as May. Their efforts include a toolkit of materials released each March in preparation for outreach activities during the month of May. You can find a list of planned activities here. Each year has a new theme that inspires the public to take action towards understanding and awareness of how to help others or obtain help if they need it personally.
There are multiple sources available to help those in need. The Anxiety and Depression Association provides a therapist directory for those unsure of where to begin.
Likewise, there is a separate listing for available telemental counselors and therapists. Because so many people have difficulty with transportation or work odd hours, this option has become quite popular over the last several years. You can do a session on-line, via video chat or even a phone call. For individuals who prefer discretion, this option can be very beneficial.
Additionally, the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), provides free monthly webinars to educate the public on mental health issues and possible solutions.
Whether you have a loved one that struggles or you yourself are in need, there is help. Solutions are often simpler and more effective than you may think. It isn’t hopeless, even though it may feel that way. Your mental health is just as important as your physical wellness. Often, we forget that.
Hopefully, the information provided to you here can increase awareness and provide much needed knowledge should the situation arise. If you would like to help create a community of understanding and healing access the NAMI’s ‘Get Involved” link here.