Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and was established in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization – Happy 70th Anniversary!
These days, it’s hard not to be aware of mental health issues. The Mayo Clinic defines mental illness as ongoing disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior and ability to function. If you are not directly affected by a disorder, it’s highly likely that someone you care about, or at least someone you know, is impacted.
There are a broad range of conditions that fall under the umbrella of ‘mental health’ - ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD and other, more severe, conditions.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI, one of the largest grassroots mental health organizations in America, states that 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness and 1 in 5 children from age 13 – 18 have or will have a serious mental illness
Here at theHi, How Are You Project, our focus is to create community and inspire new conversations around mental health by educating people through thoughtful media content, projects and events. We believe that mental health issues aren’t simply the result of one traumatic event but coalesce out of any number of connective causes. Stress at home or on the job, genetics, environment and lifestyle, nutrition and sleep, community involvement or lack thereof as well as traumatic events can all trigger mental decline.
Now for the good news:
The above statistics confirm that we are not alone. Having a mental imbalance of any sort makes us ‘one in five’ part of a tribe roughly 65 million strong. In light of these numbers, the word ‘normal’ begins to encompass an entirely different meaning.
Even better news: You don’t need a medical degree or therapist on retainer to begin taking steps towards balance and sense of wellbeing in your life.
Our pledge to you, through this blog, is to provide timely, practical and easy to understand mental health resources that can be used as tools for your wellness journey. In the same way that parenting, art, cooking, work and relationships are a process of education, navigation and action – so is mental health. While our culture tells us that progress moves in a regimented way (A, B, C) towards a finish line, anyone who has lived much at all can tell you that progress is highly individualized and meandering. There is no right way to ‘do’ recovery, it only requires the willingness to learn and apply what we’ve learned with the help of our tribe. That being said, if you are in distress and/or considering harming yourself or someone else, please get help as soon as possible. There are a number of emergency resources at the bottom of this post.
Please stay tuned and keep in touch. We really do want to know how you are and what you’d like to hear from us.
Need Immediate Help?
Dial 211 to be connected to Mental Health services in your area.
Mental Health Assistance Resources
Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator - https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ National Helpline
1-800- 662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Veteran’s Crisis Line - https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
1-800-273-TALK (8255); Text 838255