May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Around 47 million adults in America experience a mental illness, yet 57 percent of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment. Now is the perfect time to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health, including stigmas that result in people not getting the help they need. Additionally, COVID-19 has made the lives of many Americans with mental health conditions more difficult. Help spread awareness this month so that we can reduce the stigmas and encourage those struggling with mental health conditions to find the support they need.
A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood, and may affect their ability to relate to others and function daily. Mental illness can include anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Each person will have different experiences – even those with the same diagnosis.
Now more than ever, support is needed for those who struggle with a mental illness. National Disability Institute (NDI) encourages people to use the many resources made available online for mental health support. Take the time to look at the Top 25 Helpline Resources provided by The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). These resources include a wide array of mental health support with trained professionals, such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255). Consider participating in NAMI’s 2021 campaign, You Are Not Alone. NAMI wants to emphasize the importance of staying connected with your community to heal. The campaign encourages people to read blogs, share personal stories and use social media to communicate with others and create “a nation where no one feels alone in their struggle.” Spread the word and stay connected with your community using NAMI’s tools and resources.
Another helpful campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month is Tools 2 Thrive from Mental Health America (MHA). Tools 2 Thrive focuses on providing tools and tips for people to improve their mental health, no matter what personal situation they are struggling with. The goal of this campaign is to remove the stigma around mental health problems so that more people can feel comfortable seeking help. The campaign has a toolkit available for download with materials on social media and printable handouts. These handouts cover multiple mental health topics, including “adapting after trauma and stress.”
Additionally, NDI has launched #ResilientPwD, a text message campaign created to help people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. The campaign is open to everyone. By signing up, users will receive helpful information and tips by text message to build positive thinking and financial resilience. You can join by using the sign-up sheet found on NDI’s website or by texting “RESILIENT” to 833-632-0273.
NDI encourages you to take a part in Mental Health Awareness Month. Together, we can promote mental health awareness and make sure that people can find the resources and support that they need.