Mental Health Month – What is its purpose?

Mental Health Month – What is its purpose?

MHM2014 Mind Your Health FB Cover Photo 2

May is Mental Health Month

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May by reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.   Mental Health America launched Mental Health Week, which eventually became May is Mental Health Month.  The association hopes to inform United States citizens of the connection between the mind and body; and intends to provide advice, tips and strategies that will encourage people to take positive actions and protective measures for one’s own mental health, and whole body health. The theme for the 2014 Mental Health Awareness month is “Mind Your Health.” The focus of this year’s theme is to create a motivational effort that will put toward the goal of building public recognition in regards to the importance of mental health and to the overall health and wellness of those around us.      

The purpose of Mental Health Month  is to raise awareness about mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Mental Health Awareness Month also aims to educate communities about psychological disorders, while reducing the stigma that surrounds them. The month came about by presidential proclamation, which can be read by clicking here.

What is mental illness?

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.  The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

What can you do?

Take a quick screening.  Mental Health America has online screenings for 4 common conditions.  Taking a screening test is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

Did you know that…

  • About 1 in 5 American adults will have a mental health condition in any given year?
  • But only 41 percent of them will receive services?
  • About 10 percent of the American adult population will have a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar?
  • And 18 percent have an anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder?

Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. And recovery is possible. But not all of us think about our mental health enough.

If you’ve had trouble sleeping lately, if you’ve been experiencing racing thoughts, or if you’re just curious – the screens below can help you understand more about your mental health. Take all four and discuss the results with a provider.

If you’d like to take a screening, simply click on the condition below or visit the Mental Health America website by clicking here.

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Bipolar
  4. PTSD

Help spread the word that May is Mental Health Month.  

  • If you’re a blogger, blog about it!
  • Use #mhmonth2014 on your Twitter or Facebook posts
  • Follow Mental Health America on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook– Twitter handle: @mentalhealtham or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mentalhealthamerica
  • Share or retweet posts from Mental Health America
  • Use the links below to download an image for your Facebook cover photo:

Option 1: Family in the Park,

Option 2: Lunch with Friends,

Option 3: Working Out on the Beach

 

For more information on Mental Health Month and about mental health in general, visit Mental Health America.  Mental Health America, founded in 1909, is the nation’s leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives.

Sources: Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Wikipedia