Since 1949, the month of May has been devoted to raising awareness for mental health, in hopes to alleviate common misconceptions about it. There is still much stigma associated with mental health, and mostly with those who don’t understand it. Mental health is a vital part of everyone’s daily health and well being, but when the term is also associated with illness it is harder for people to escape the negativity surrounding it. Mental health is such a broad issue, and to help others understand that, there needs to be this awareness and education available.
The NCMHA (National Council of Mental Health Associates) works hard to promote understanding and excellence in the mental health, and substance abuse care across America. Substance abuse is considered a mental health issue, with more and more addicts/ alcoholics being dually diagnosed with other mental health conditions every year. Substance addiction already carries around a stigma all its own, so adding a mental health condition on top of that can be hard for many to take in. However, over the past 10 years, there has been an increase of treatment centers across the country understanding this correlation, and offering more services to accommodate these individuals.
Then we have the topic of mental health, wellness, and care of older adult Americans and children. These areas of mental health often times are overlooked, but there is much childhood and elder abuse, depression, and even substance abuse going on. May 1st – 7th is Children’s Mental Health Awareness week, and May 16th- 22nd is Older Adult Mental Health Week. We get to take a look at how the children and seniors in our country are doing, whether they are at home with family, or in treatment centers, detention centers, or nursing homes. Bringing awareness to their issues is just as important. Helping to promote the health and well being of our country’s children and older adult population can assist in the elimination of these issues they face.
So before making judgments or assumptions of mental health, get the information and education needed to fully understand it, and how it is affecting many individuals in our country. There are plenty of resources out there to help us in this, so don’t be shy, help in raising awareness! #MHM2016