As the conversation continues to grow around the importance and availability of quality mental health resources, many strides have already been taken to raise awareness by corporations and community members alike. May is Mental Health Month, and in fact, this year marks the 70th anniversary of this vital movement. That’s quite a milestone - one that is well worth the highlight!
We want to take a moment to honor all of the hard work and dedication that has taken place over the decades and a few ways to make the most of Mental Health Month.
First began in 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates developed the observance of ‘May is Mental Health Month’ by reaching millions of people through local events, screenings, and the media. The point? To spread the word that mental health is something that everyone should care about. And that is every bit as important today as it was seventy years ago.
Each year, Mental Health America assigns a theme to unify the movement and hone in on specific aspects of the cause. This year’s theme is kind of a ‘part two’ that follows the 2018 focus on #4Mind4Body. Psychology Today describes #4Mind4Body 2018 as an emphasis on the fact that “health is an all-encompassing matter and we must take care care of our minds just as much as we take care of our bodies.” For 2019, the #4Mind4Body campaign has been expanded even further to include the topics of support animals, spirituality, humor, work/life balance, recreation and social connections for enhancing mental health and well-being.
What’s amazing is the way in which this theme really does speak to our current, modern mood. Taking a holistic approach, Mental Health America has long supported the idea that mental health especially benefits from a multi-pronged strategy, addressing the whole person and the community at large. The movement has evolved over the decades, always with an honest look at all of the pieces of the wellness puzzle - it’s current, it’s relevant, and it’s relatable.
It’s important to enhance mental health and well-being with the numerous resources at our disposal, and those resources are growing every day, especially in the Bay Area.
The power of the internet has been an essential tool in raising awareness across the board. In today’s world, social media and the 24/7 availability of information connects us all in ways that were unimaginable even thirty years ago. This ability to foster awareness and empower change through this modern lens is incredibly exciting and we fully support efforts to amplify that reach.
Join the conversation
Across all social media channels in May, you’ll likely see green ribbons and hashtags related to Mental Health Month and we encourage you to join the conversation online. The importance of breaking the stigma cannot be overstated. Discover mental health stories from others and even marketing campaigns from corporations, such as Burger King’s Real Meal campaign for mental health. Consider sharing your own story with the world if you are comfortable.
Explore the facts
Data within the mental health field can be eye-opening. There is a wealth of information online that supports the need for access to resources. Sharing such facts within your social media activity this month adds weight to the message that it’s okay to ask for help. Healthline, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Mental Health America are all user-friendly sources for mental health-related information.
Check in with yourself
Take some time to visit your own mental health. Are you struggling? Are there areas that could benefit from a trusted professional? Or maybe there are some trouble spots that simply deserve a gentle acknowledgment. By getting in touch with your headspace, you can learn so much - and it’s worth your time. From there, give yourself permission to take it to the next level by adding a professional therapist to your self-care team.
Break the stigma
Sometimes the biggest obstacle to accessing mental health resources is our own expectations, our own set of rules that make it hard to reach out. In fact, sometimes it might even be a stretch to take a look at our lives and realize that we have unmet mental health needs in the first place. Here in the Bay Area, where work/life balance alone can be a huge hurdle, it’s pretty common to keep plugging along without checking in. But that’s where you could be missing opportunities to achieve higher levels of happiness and productivity.
Or, perhaps it’s a friend or family member that is encountering struggles with their mental health - Mental Health Month offers an opportunity to show support, broaden knowledge on the subject and enhance the important sense of community around what can sometimes be considered an isolating experience.
Support, acceptance, and outreach are keys to breaking the stigma of mental health needs, and this mindset lowers the walls that stand between those who need help and those who can deliver help.
At reflect, we believe that everyone can benefit from talking with someone on a regular basis. Yet finding a therapist that’s the right match for your unique needs can be intimidating or difficult when tasked with going at the search alone. We can make a difference, by offering the largest self-pay network of top therapists in the Bay Area. Let us help you find your match today. In honor of Mental Health Month, consider it your first step towards a better tomorrow.