May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, 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.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34. If you, or someone
you know, is in crisis, trained mental health support professionals are available to help at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).
Consider participating in The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) 2022 campaign, Together for Mental Health. NAMI wants to emphasize the importance of joining together to advocate for improving our national’s mental health system so that anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives. The campaign encourages people to read blogs, share personal stories and use social media, with the hashtag #Together4MH, to advocate for mental health and access to care. Spread the word and stay connected with your community using NAMI’s tools and resources.
Another helpful campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month is Back to Basics from Mental Health America (MHA). The goal of this year’s campaign is to provide foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions, as well as information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern. The Back to Basics Outreach Toolkit provides free, practical resources to introduce mental health topics like recognizing warning signs, knowing the factors that can lead to mental health conditions, maintaining mental wellness and seeking help for mental health. The toolkit contains media materials, social media posts, posters, fact sheets and ideas about how you can help spread the word about mental health.
Check out the latest PSA from the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?” It features four cast members including a CEO, a manager, a co-worker and a person who identifies as having a mental health condition, each discussing what they can do to promote workplace wellbeing. The PSA reminds us that we all benefit from flexible, supportive workplaces that promote good mental health.
NDI’s #ResilientPwD text campaign was 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. The texts are intended to help combat stress and feelings of isolation, build positive thinking and establish new behavior patterns that promote emotional well-being 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. A #ResilientPwD Outreach Toolkit is also available.
NDI encourages everyone 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.