Mental Health Awareness Month is Here!
Mental Health Awareness Month is held annually in May to help spread awareness and shatter the stigma around mental illness.
Approximately 450 million individuals in the world live with a mental illness, but only one-third seek the treatment that they need. By advocating for mental health and speaking up about it, more and more people can feel comfortable in reaching out for help rather than suffering in silence.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is launching a campaign titled, “WhyCare?” WhyCare is an opportunity for those affected by mental illness to express the importance of caring for loved ones, supporting families and those suffering, and educating people and caregivers about mental health treatment services. By sharing the importance of caring for others, a great impact can be made on those who are affected by mental health.
More than 9 million adults in the United States suffer from a mental health condition that is serious enough to interfere with their daily activities. The most prevalent mental illnesses in the U.S. include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. If mental health is left untreated, a person’s quality of life can be severely diminished as symptoms of mental illness don’t disappear on their own. Fifty percent of mental health conditions develop by age 14, and 75% are developed by age 24, making it imperative to treat mental illness early on in life.
This issue strongly affects society as a whole, as nearly 20% of recent state inmates have a history of mental health and 90% of people who die by suicide suffer from a mental illness. In addition, those who are suffering from a mental health condition may be unable to work, develop chronic physical health conditions, and experience a continuous decline of their well-being.
Mental Health Awareness Month & #4Mind4Body
This year’s theme of mental health awareness month is “#4Mind4Body”. The goal is to educate the public about the correlation between physical and mental health, and how the food people eat and activities they do can affect their mental health.
Some activities that can help promote mental health include:
- Maintaining a normal sleep schedule
- Avoiding sugary and processed foods
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
- Staying away from toxic people, places, and things
- Practicing mindful meditation
- Practicing self-care
Awareness month advocates are encouraged to share their experiences with activities like animal therapy, spirituality, humor, recreation, and social connections and how these things promote mental health on social media with the hashtag #4Mind4Body.