May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since mental health issues can directly affect a person’s body, mind and spirit, this piece brings up the importance of getting rid of the pervasive stigma associated with mental illnesses. This month-long observance had been started 70+ years ago by Mental Health America to boost awareness regarding mental health issues and emphasize the significance of optimal mental health for all people.
The observation of Mental Health Month has several goals. For one, this observance is a respectful way to support the millions of nameless Americans whose lives are affected by mental health issues. One more goal of Mental Health Month is to bolster the public’s understanding of the intricacies connected with mental illness. Finally, Mental Health Month is a way to eliminate myths and educate people on mental health issues.
Those who work in the healthcare field are exposed to patients and clients with mental health issues all the time. In fact, it is estimated that approximately half of all elderly nursing facility residents are afflicted with depressive disorders. Depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder since it affects an estimated 300 million individuals; in addition, it tends to strike women more often than men (DuBois-Maahs, 2018).
Other common mental health conditions that are seen in the healthcare system with striking regularity include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and dementia. Clients who are afflicted with these mental health issues deserve to be seen in a nonjudgmental manner by healthcare providers and allied healthcare workers who have solid understandings of their afflictions.
To spread awareness of Mental Health Month and show support for the millions of sufferers of mental health problems, individuals can take the following actions.
- Utilize the hashtags #MentalHealthMonth2019, #mentalhealth, #anxietysupport, #MentalHealthMonth and #depressionsupport when posting on social media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as much as reasonably possible during the month of May.
- Re-post and repeat informative facts on mental health issues. For instance, people might be surprised to find out for the first time that depression is the most common mental health problem for women, and that women are afflicted with depression at twice the rate of men.
- Send supportive greeting cards and/or letters to your local psychiatric hospital. Direct these greeting cards and letters to the attention of patients and patient care staff so they will be more likely to be received by the intended recipients.
DuBous-Maahs, J. (2018, October). The Top Five Most Common Mental Illnesses. Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.talkspace.com/blog/the-top-five-most-common-mental-illnesses/
National Council for Behavioral Health. (2019). Mental Health Month. Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-month/