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  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month

    Lena Canu, MA, LLC, NCC

    Mental Health Awareness Month began in 1949 when Mental Health America (MHA), then known as the National Mental Health Association, was founded. The organization established May as Mental Health Awareness Month to coincide with the weather and blooming of spring, as well as to align with the activities of other organizations focused on mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month is supported by various organizations, including NAMI and SAMSHA, aiming to shine a spotlight on the importance of mental health, raising awareness, reducing stigma, and promoting support for those who may be struggling with mental health challenges.

    In a world that often prioritizes physical health over mental well-being, this month serves as a powerful reminder that our minds deserve equal care and attention. Just as we visit doctors for physical ailments, it’s equally crucial to prioritize our mental health by seeking support and practicing self-care. 

    Mental health is a spectrum that touches every aspect of our lives. It influences how we think, feel, and behave, shaping our relationships, work performance, and overall quality of life. Yet, despite its significance, mental health is often overlooked or stigmatized, leaving many individuals feeling isolated and misunderstood. However, the landscape is changing. With each passing year, conversations surrounding mental health become more open and inclusive. People are sharing their stories, breaking down barriers, and advocating for greater access to mental health resources.

    During Mental Health Awareness Month, there are numerous ways you can can get involved and contribute to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and supporting mental health. NAMI (National Alliance in Mental Illness) provides an array of ways to get involved, including free educational programs and presentations you can sign up for, or volunteering opportunities which can be found at:

    Other suggestions to get involved this month include:

    Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about mental health conditions, their symptoms, and available treatments. Understanding mental health can help you recognize when you or someone else may need support.

    Start Conversations: Engage in open, compassionate conversations about mental health with friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Share your own experiences, listen to others without judgment, and offer support and encouragement.

    Share Resources: Use your social media platforms to share information, graphics, videos, and resources related to mental health. Use hashtags like #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth to amplify your message and reach a wider audience.

    Attend a Virtual Event: Look for virtual events, webinars, or workshops focused on mental health awareness. Many organizations host online events during Mental Health Awareness Month, providing opportunities to learn, connect, and engage with others.

    Practice Self-Care: Prioritize activities that promote your own mental well-being, such as exercise, mindfulness, hobbies, and spending time with supportive friends and family. Remember that self-care is not selfish—it’s essential for maintaining good mental health.

    Share Your Story: If you feel comfortable, share your own experiences with mental health to help reduce stigma and encourage others to seek support. Your story has the power to inspire and empower others who may be struggling. Tips for talking about your mental health can be found in this link, provided by SAMHSA

    Check In With Loved Ones: Reach out to friends or family members who may be struggling with their mental health. Send a text message, make a phone call, or schedule a virtual coffee chat to let them know you’re thinking of them and offer your support.

    Seek Help if Needed: If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional support. Clinicians at All Things Possible Wellness Center may help assist you on your journey.