May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness and educate yourself on the reality of mental health struggles. Each may, organizations including Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Council for Mental Wellbeing raise awareness of those living with behavioral or mental health issues and reduce the stigma around mental health. This movement seeks to provide support to those affected, educate the public, and advocate for policies and laws that help people and their families with mental illnesses.
The National Institute of Mental Health states that “nearly one in five US adults live with a mental illness,” making it so important to spread awareness and education.
If you are looking for a place to share your story and connect to those who also struggle with their mental health, the National Alliance on Mental Illness shares “Together for Mental Health,” a platform that allows those with mental illness to share their stories. View more information and read stories here.
Educate yourself by staying up to date on the facts, made easy by the US Department of Health & Human Services‘ Fact Sheet May 2022. This sheet provides current information on our country’s efforts in reducing mental health and providing proper care, as well as statistics and other facts. View the 2022 Fact Sheet here.
This year’s theme for mental health awareness month is Loneliness. The Mental Health Foundation chose this theme to raise awareness of how long-lasting or severe loneliness can affect both physical and mental health. We saw an increase in loneliness during quarantine in 2020, which has led to implications for not only individuals but society at large.
Fight loneliness this month by reaching out to friends and family, especially those who may be struggling. Make social interaction a goal, especially if you work from home and spend most of your time alone at your desk.
Another great way to spread awareness this month is to share on social media. Sharing your story, relevant posts, and facts can help educate those around you and bring normalcy to discussing mental health issues. Sharing your story publically can also help inspire others to get the help they need, and provide hope to those struggling.