Last year, I blogged for the first time about May being Mental Health Month. I got a slew of emails and shares on both Twitter and Facebook regarding this subject. For some reason in America, even in this day and time, people with mental health issues are looked down upon. No one really wants to discuss mental health or it’s contributing factors like depression. It’s like if we don’t talk about it, it will go away. Of course, this is not true.
Millions of people in the world are diagnosed with a form of mental illness. It knows no color, no socio-economic background. In some cases it’s inherited by a family member. In others, it is formed because of an incident or occurrence in life. I have several friends and family members, including my father, that suffer from depression and other mental health issues. If not treated, it can cause other issues and problems, both physical and psychological.
Last year, I also blogged about there being a stigma regarding mental health. That those who suffer from mental health issues are crazy or are not “normal”—whatever normal is. I think that when we change our thoughts and ideas about what mental health is, we can better serve one another. It’s not a dirty word or something to be embarrassed about.
If you don’t suffer from mental health issues but know someone who is affected, please don’t treat them like a pariah. Get to know their diagnosis and what you can do to help them. Champion their treatment and doctor plan and encourage them to follow doctor’s orders and to stay positive and strong. I know it’s easy to judge things that we don’t understand, but doing so doesn’t do us or the person who is suffering any good. Do research about the mental health issue and do your best to help.
And if the person pushes you away, continue to be there for them anyway.
To learn more info, you can visit the Mental Health America page about Mental Health Month and learn what you can do with their 1 in 4 Initiative.
According to their website:
This year, we are addressing these important issues through two themes:
Do More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the 1 in 4 American adults who live with a diagnosable, treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can go on to live full and productive lives.
The second theme, Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds, focuses on the impact of traumatic events on individuals and communities. It centers around asking the person-based question: “What happened to you?”
Please share the Mental Health America website with your colleagues, friends, and family. Let’s break down the negative stereotypes surrounding mental illness.
How will you support Mental Health Month?