Although there are a few months that recognize and show support for different mental health conditions, such as October for depression, the official Mental Health Awareness Month begins May 1st and lasts throughout the month of May. 1
The importance of mental health has become a topic of significant discussion in recent years. As medical professionals continue to do more research on the subject, mental illness awareness will continue to improve.
Mental Health Awareness Month was originally established in 1949 to support those with mental health conditions and in recovery from mental health crises. Thanks to the continuing efforts of organizations like NAMI, progress has been made toward helping people with mental health conditions seek treatment, access preventative care, and obtain long-term recovery.
Although mental health awareness still has a long way to go toward fighting stigma and outdated beliefs, measures like Mental Health Awareness Month tremendously help further the cause.
When combined with other initiatives like the Affordable Care Act, which was responsible for expanding mental health care to millions, the United States is beginning to see a positive change in the lives of those with mental health conditions. 2
Mental health awareness is important because it’s a reminder that those with mental health conditions deserve proper care, understanding, and resources, and taking care of one’s mental health is crucial. In today’s fast-paced hustle culture, many people work themselves to exhaustion and burnout in an attempt to chase the lifestyle that society believes they should have.
There are several warning signs of burnout, fatigue, anxiety, and depression that often go ignored for too long before burnout hits. However, with a greater emphasis on mental health awareness and education, some of these symptoms can be caught, diagnosed, and treated earlier, reducing the severity or impact of the mental health episode.
Several genetic and environmental risk factors can occur at a young age that can predispose a person to develop a mental illness. A mental illness can develop at any age, but the early signs and symptoms typically begin during childhood.
Certain factors, such as violence, brain damage, or traumatic experiences, are more likely to cause sudden mental illness in adults. 6
Mental health conditions are more prevalent in the United States than people may believe. One in five adults has a history of mental illness, and one in fifteen experienced a comorbid substance abuse disorder and mental illness.
Suicide is the second-highest cause of death in people aged ten to thirty-four and the tenth highest cause of death in the US overall. 78% of all suicides are male, and it is believed that the stigma against males expressing their feelings or asking for help with mental health is to blame. 7
The importance of mental health education, ending societal and cultural stigmas, and accessible mental health care to everyone who needs it cannot be overstated.
At Iris Healing®, we believe in a patient-first model of care that revolves around a holistic recovery process. We want to help our patients understand the importance of mental health, recovery, and treatment options. You are not alone. We are here to help through empathy and spirituality. Call us today to discover how we can help you.