In observance of Mental Health Month, we would like to take a moment to give some background and tell you how you can join in spreading the word. Mental Health America and their affiliates have been leading the observance of May as Mental Health Month since 1949. Since then, they have been very successful in reaching people through the media, local events and screenings. By conducting awareness activities and using the optional Mental Health Month Toolkit that MHA provides, you can join in raising awareness.
MHA will be tying this year’s theme to the content of their 2017 Annual Conference: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. The campaign is titled Risky Business, and will discuss habits and behaviors that could increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems. Some of the risk factors include (but are not limited to) prescription drug misuse, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns. This theme is meant to raise awareness of the risks that these types of behaviors present—especially to young people—to help in the detection of these early warning signs, and to provide resources for prevention and early intervention.
Along with MHA, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) will also be observing this month during the week of the 3rd to the 9th by joining communities across the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youths. During that week, the focus will be on youths living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness.
This month is all about fighting the stigma, providing support, educating the public and advocating for equal care. To help spread the word, through the various awareness, support and advocacy activities taking place this month, be sure to share your experiences on social media and use the hashtag #IntoMentalHealth.