In case you didn’t know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM). An entire month dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and promoting wellness.
Let’s take a moment to understand the message behind this global event and discover ways in which we can contribute to a healthier and happier world.
Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM)
Building on last year’s theme, 2019’s MHAM aims to promote a more holistic approach to health. The #4Mind4Body theme emphasizes the strong link between physical and mental health.
Time to Raise Awareness of Mental Health
Over the last decades, mental health has become a serious concern among researchers and mental health professionals. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to learn about (and understand) the risks and costs of mental disorders.
There are numerous organizations dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), or Mental Health America (MHA) have always been strong advocates for mental health and well-being.
Mental Health Statistics
Here’s what a recent report by the World Health Organization, revealed about mental health:
- There are 322 million people with depression worldwide.
- Another 264 million people are dealing with anxiety.
- To make things even worse, only about 37% of Americans who are dealing with anxiety receive treatment.
Mental Health Challenges
Thanks to the work and dedication of experts from all around the world, we now have a wide range of approaches, protocols, and treatments for almost every mental health disorder out there.
Sadly, there are still numerous obstacles that prevent people like you and me from gaining access to proper mental health services.
Stop the Stigma Associated with Mental Health Conditions
One of the major challenges that people with mental illness often experience is the stigma around mental illness which includes conditions like depression or anxiety and many more. That’s why it’s a focal point for mental health awareness month 2019.
Despite all the campaigns made in recent years, we’re still living in a world where having a mental health diagnosis can be a huge burden.
#4Mind4Body is a simple tag that helps you find relevant information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month campaign. It also highlights the fact that mental health relies on a mind-body approach to wellness.
If there’s anything related to this campaign that you want to share via social media, don’t hesitate to use this tag.
WhyCare is a NAMI campaign that focuses on popularizing the importance of mental health treatment and support.
As they mention on their official website, care can make a life-changing impact on people affected by various mental health conditions.
If you want to know more about this campaign, look for the tags #NAMICares and #WhyCare on social media.
The Importance of Physical Health for Mental Health
We know for a fact that physical and mental health go hand in hand. We simply cannot have one without the other. That’s why this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month focuses on promoting different strategies for improving both physical and mental health.
Last year, Psychology Today posted a useful list of small changes that we can make to improve our mental health and well-being. From getting a good night’s sleep to having a balanced diet, the secret to robust (physical and mental) health is in our day-to-day habits.
And there are plenty of other factors that can make a significant difference.
Pets can have a significantly positive impact on our overall health and well-being. And that’s why, in recent years, many healthcare clinics have successfully implemented animal-assisted therapy.
Spirituality and Religion
Spirituality and religion have played and will always play a crucial role in our overall sense of health and well-being. Finding joy and comfort in a higher meaning can empower you to make positive changes and improve the quality of your life.
A good laugh can do wonders for your mental health. Whether you’re into stand-up comedy or self-irony, never pass up a healthy dose of humor.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can significantly reduce stress and prevent problems like depression or anxiety. Even if you have a very busy schedule, try to always make room for some “me” time.
Social Connections & Recreation
For people who struggle with mental illness, having a shoulder to cry on or an empathetic ear that can listen can speed up their recovery. Furthermore, social support acts as a buffer that can prevent problems like stress, anxiety, or depression from creeping into our lives.
Chronic Illness and Mental Health
Most experts agree that chronic illness often leads to poor mental health. People who struggle with problems like irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, HIV/AIDS can face a lot of challenges. On top of that, mental health problems can have a negative impact on chronic illness, making life even worse for chronically ill patients.
That’s why healthcare professionals emphasize the importance of approaching health and well-being from a holistic perspective.
People like you and me can play an essential part in promoting mental health awareness. For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI offers both information and resources that people can use to raise awareness.
Furthermore, if you have a friend, coworker, or family member who’s struggling with mental illness, you can help him/her get in touch with a counselor or join a support program.
Where Can I Find Resources?
The online environment offers valuable resources for people who wish to play a part in raising awareness of mental health.
Just type Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 in google, and you’ll find plenty of useful links such as a calendar of events, statistics, workshops, and toolkits.
It’s all about being informed, sharing useful information via social media, and doing your part in ending stigma.
Small Changes: Big Impacts
The hope behind Mental Health Awareness Month is to put an end to stigma and about educating people about the benefits of physical health for emotional wellness. The best part? Each and every one of us can contribute to this daring goal!