Since May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to offer our support to the surrounding communities throughout the country.  While we have made great strides as a nation in regards to mental health care, we still need to keep pushing forward in many areas. Stigmas still exist in the 21st century, which is often surprising to some; however part of that could be attributed to the lack of awareness in our country, as well as limited resources for informing individuals about the risks of mental and behavioral health issues.

The statistics say it all: 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness every year, and 1 in 5 children and teens from the age of 13 to 18 experience a mental health disorder at one point in their lives.  Mental health problems are an issue that as a nation we need to address and focus on. Compared to different parts of the world, such as Europe, we tend to be behind the ball when it comes to recognizing the importance of our minds and treating particular issues that arise. We have a strict focus on our bodies and tend to neglect treating our minds with the same care and attention.

In light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, now is a great time to show your solidarity with those who suffer from mental or behavioral health issues, as well as taking a stand against the stigmas that still exist in this country. For more information regarding stigmas, please visit the NAMI site here: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree .

Another great way to help contribute during this month is to spread awareness via social media. Hashtags such as “#mentalhealthawarenessmonth”, “#standagainststigmas” and others can allow individuals to find your posts more easily, especially if you are sharing helpful posts highlighting statistics on mental health! Only 41% of adults with a mental health issue received specific mental health care last year, so it is doubly important to make sure that we continue to promote awareness and encouragement to seek treatment. Sometimes the issues tend to be a lack of education; it is very important that we get the right information out there for individuals who need it.

Overall, Mental Health Awareness Month should be a time of celebrating the progress we have made, as well as a reality check in regards to where we need to go. Join us in celebrating this month and let’s stamp out stigmas and keep an eye on continually pushing for an expansion in the realm of mental health care reform in this country.