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Celebrating 70 Years of Mental Health Awareness Month: “Seizing the Awkward,” 2019

may is mental health awareness month

Awareness

How is Mental Health Awareness Month celebrated? Since 1949, May has been deemed “Mental Health Awareness Month,” raising awareness among millions of people through media, screenings, and local events. Whether you deal with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or whatever else might be challenging you, this is your month, and in a good way!

This year, Mental Health America (MHA) is doubling down on last year’s Mental Health Awareness Month of #4Mind4Body, and taking it to the next level. They plan on showcasing such topics as spirituality, humor, work-life balance, social connections, recreation, and animal companionship, all as ways to raise interest and awareness around mental health and overall wellness for individuals.

Each year millions of Americans (about one in five) live with mental illness, as do their families, and everything mental illness brings with it. Through fighting stigma, providing support, educating the public, and advocating for public policies that in support of those with mental illness, a significant impact can be made for better.

During Mental Health Month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be running its own awareness campaign, known as WhyCare?.  What is the WhyCare campaign about? NAMI states that it is an “opportunity to share the importance of care in our relationships to others, in mental health treatment and services, and in support and education to millions of people, families, caregivers, and loved ones affected by mental illness.” According to NAMI, demonstration of how and why we care helps bring more awareness to pertinent issues by showing participant actions and connections to others. Furthermore, NAMI submits that caring has the power to make a significant impact on all those affected by mental health conditions.

 

Highlights from MHA’s upcoming Mental Health Awareness Month Celebration

Celebrate mental health awareness month by loving those who need love

Let’s walk through just a few highlights of what MHA will be showcasing during May 2019, from their downloadable toolkit.

Download the full MHA Toolkit here.

Spirituality & Religion

 Don’t let anyone convince you that religion is always a taboo subject for discussion. Whether you meditate, practice yoga, or attend church, being mindful of the health of your soul is critical aspect of caring for yourself. It can even improve physical and mental health while you’re at it.

  • 29 percent of individuals polled are both spiritual and religious.
  • 18 percent are spiritual but not religious.
  • 31 percent are neither spiritual or religious.
  • 22 percent are religious, but not spiritual.
  • In people born with heart diseases, being religious or spiritual led to healthier behaviors, better quality of life, and higher life satisfaction.
  • Having a sense of meaning, purpose, or connection to something larger than oneself is associated with positive mental health outcomes in people receiving cancer treatment.
  • One study found that people who attended religious services monthly showed a 22 percent lower risk of depression.
  • Spiritual and religious beliefs related to meaning, peace, and faith were associated with reduced suicide risk and better mental health in people getting dialysis treatments.May is a month to take care of you and others with mental health struggles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humor

Having a healthy sense of humor in regard to day-to-day life can lift your mood and help people to better cope with and overcome di­fficult times. Don’t be afraid to learn to laugh about your difficulties and struggles; just because you can learn to lighten a situation by laughing about it doesn’t mean you’re not handling it seriously, nor does it make it any less real or valid.

Eight interesting facts about laughter:

  • It stimulates your muscles, heart, and lungs.
  • It decreases the levels of stress hormones.
  • It increases activity in your brain’s “reward system” areas.
  • It releases endorphins (your body’s natural pain blockers).
  • It promotes anxiety relief and a better overall mood.
  • It strengthens your immune system.
  • It reduces burnout in all areas of life.
  • It helps you interact better with others.

Work-life balance is important in managing your mental healthWork-life Balance

 Work teaches you values like patience, persistence, and character. It allows you to provide for yourself and your family as you serve a purpose in your community. When it takes over your life, however, it can be detrimental to your health. Better work-life balance is in order.

Eight facts about work in the United States:

  • People surveyed who feel they have good work-life balance are more satisfied with their jobs and their lives, and experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Working overtime increases the likelihood of having symptoms of depression, especially in men.
  • Of adults employed full time in the U.S., nearly 40 percent reported working at least 50 hours per week, and 18% work 60 hours or more.
  • Over 75 percent of Americans surveyed are afraid of getting punished for taking a day off­ to attend to their mental health.
  • More than two-thirds of those surveyed have had their sleep negatively aff­ected by workplace issues.
  • Those who work in manufacturing, retail, and food/beverage jobs were most likely to report that work stress “always or often” impacts their personal relationships.
  • More than half of those surveyed say that they do unhealthy things (e.g. drinking, overworking, drug use, lashing out at others) to cope with workplace stress.
  • Poor work-life balance increases the risk for health conditions like sleep problems, digestive disorders, and mental health problems. This is especially true for people who work longer shifts or on nights and weekends.

Whatever you do for Mental Health Awareness Month, remember that it’s a time to both show and receive emotional support in regard to coping with mental health challenges.

DO YOU DO ANYTHING UNIQUE FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH? WE’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!

Are you struggling with depression and/or anxiety? Both are treatable, and their treatment usually leads to an improved sense of overall wellness and better sleep. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.

 

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