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When Is Mental Health Awareness Month?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn everything you need to know about what the month entails here.

When is Mental Health Awareness Month

Article Contents

The Month of May

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.

History of Mental Health Awareness Month

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Although mental health awareness still has a long way to go toward fighting stigma and outdated beliefs, measures like Mental Health Awareness Month tremendously help further the cause.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 Month Color

The color for Mental Health Month is green. It is important to note that this national movement can be celebrated by anyone, not just people who have mental health conditions.
Mental Health Awareness Month emphasizes the importance of mental health care. This includes identifying conditions, illnesses, and potential triggers and placing importance on taking time in one’s everyday life for self-care.

Mental Health Awareness Symbol

The symbol for Mental Health Month and mental health awareness at any time is a green ribbon. During this month, these green ribbons are easier to find, but they can be purchased and worn at any time throughout the year to show your support. 4

Mental Health Facts and Statistics

Mental illness awareness month has helped spread information about mental illness, but many do not understand the importance of mental health education.
Unfortunately, thousands of people go undiagnosed for years before discovering they have a mental illness or go their entire life not knowing. In many cases, they could have received help earlier but lacked knowledge about diagnosis and treatment options or could not take advantage of them due to cultural stigma.

Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?

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.

The Most Common Mental Health Conditions

When is Mental Health Awareness Month
Although there are more than two hundred different diagnosable mental health conditions, there are a few that are significantly more common in the United States. 5 These include:

Mental Illness Risk Factors

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 Illness Statistics USA

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.

How to Observe Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month can be celebrated and observed by taking time for your mental health and self-care, spreading awareness about mental health conditions, and educating yourself and others on the importance of reliable and affordable access to mental health care.

Talk About the Importance of Mental Health

Whether you have a mental health condition or you know someone who does, anyone can help fight stigma and educate others on mental health.

Take Care of Yourself

By practicing self-care, you can help improve your mental health. Do what makes you happy and take regular breaks from work, chores, and other stressful activities to avoid burnout.

Take Care of Your Family and Loved Ones

It can be difficult for our loved ones to reach out for help even when they need it. Thus, offer help with errands, chores, or anything you can assist in so that others can have some time to themselves to rest and recover. In addition, if you suspect that a loved one may be having a mental health crisis, reach out to them and offer your help.

Mental Health Awareness Month Activities

There are endless possibilities for Mental Health Awareness Month activities. For example, host a stress reduction workshop, have a well-being day, attend a virtual discussion about mental health, or start a gratitude journal.

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month at Iris Healing®

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.

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