Since 1949, May has been designated National Mental Health Awareness Month by the Mental Health America organization. Why? It has become a dedicated time for advocates and activists across the country to draw attention to the mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans.
It may shock you to know that more people in the United States die from suicide than from traffic accidents or homicides, including an average of 22 veterans on a daily basis. But because of the stigma attached to mental illness, many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek the help they need for themselves or their loved ones.
The theme for May 2014 is “Mind Your Health.” The organization’s overall goals for the month are to:
- build public recognition about the importance of mental health to overall health and wellness;
- inform people of the ways that the mind and body interact with each other; and
- provide tips and tools for taking positive actions to protect mental health and promote whole health.
Congress is sponsoring several days to highlight mental health for various groups, including:
May 7, 2014 – National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
May 8, 2014 – Native American Youth Mental Health
May 21, 2014 – Military/Veteran Mental Health Awareness Day
May 29, 2014 – LGBT Family Acceptance & Youth Suicide Prevention
If you are looking for information on local Mental Health Awareness Month activities, or if you’re looking for help or support for yourself or a loved one, visit Mental Health America or the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Both sites offer valuable resources and contact information.
Here in Western New York, Horizon Health Services provides a full range of treatment and support for people working to manage a variety of mental illnesses, including diagnostic assessment, individual, group and family counseling, medication prescription and monitoring, medical evaluation and treatment, and stabilization and rehabilitation services. Do not hesitate to call us any time or visit our website to learn more on our Psychiatry and Mental Health Services Pages. We also offer special services for Veterans. Visit our website to find out more.