Raising Awareness During National Mental Health Month
It has long been accepted that the military community is at an increased risk for physical, mental, and emotional health concerns. Today, the social isolation, anxiety, and grief that occur as a result of the pandemic can quickly compound existing mental illness or cause new concerns to arise. Now, more than ever before, it is important to support those suffering with mental illness and to remind these men and women that they are not alone.
What Month is Mental Health Awareness Month?
National Mental Health Awareness Month, also known as National Mental Health Month, has been observed every May since 1949. It was established by Mental Health America, a non-profit whose goal is not only to address the needs of those living with mental illness, but to promote the overall mental health of every American.
Support is Just a Click Away
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of nearly every American in some way, big or small. Two major players in the mental health space are fighting back. Here’s how.
National Alliance for Mental Health
In an effort to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and support those living with mental health concerns, the National Alliance for Mental Health has created the #NotAlone challenge. They encourage anyone comfortable to share their struggle with mental illness, no matter how great or small, on social media using #NotAlone. In honor of this challenge and Mental Health Awareness Month, they have even created a webpage for those living with mental health conditions to share their stories and express what the message “You are Not Alone” means to them. These stories are placed online to be read by anyone who is struggling
Mental Health America
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month thanks to these guys, so it makes sense that the organization creates some fantastic resources for those living with mental health concerns (and for their loved ones). The Mental Health America 2021 Tools to Thrive toolkit includes material for communication and printable handouts on several topics that play a role in mental health such as adapting after trauma and stress, getting out of thinking traps, processing big changes, and so much more.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
National Mental Health Awareness Month is not the only time to seek support for a mental illness. If you or someone you know is battling a mental health concern, don’t wait to ask for help. In addition to the organizations listed above, MentalHealth.gov and the VA Office of Mental Health offer a variety of resources focused on providing mental health services to members of the military, veterans, and their families.