What Is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Mental Health Awareness Month is a national month-long observance that was first established in the United States in 1949. It focuses on raising awareness about and educating the general public about mental health, mental health conditions, seeking help for those who’re struggling with their mental health and removing the stigma that still exists in some areas of society.
The month is used to not only bring attention to the many different mental health conditions that people can struggle with, but also to enforce the importance of getting help if you need it as well as shed light on mental health treatment options.
Why Mental Health Month Is Important
Every year, approximately 450 million people around the world cope with mental health conditions according to The World Health Organisation, but although so many people are struggling with their mental health, mental illnesses are sometimes considered a taboo subject, even in these modern times when we’re supposed to be more tolerable and accepting of others and their personal struggles.
As a result, many people remain uneducated or misinformed about the widespread nature of mental health and its associated mental health conditions, how it presents itself and the way it can adversely affect every aspect of someone’s life.
Because of this lack of education and to overcome the misinformation that’s still floating around within the general public, many people never get the care they need or deserve. As a result, some people may go their whole lives struggling alone and get progressively worse with a health condition that is treatable!
Did You Know – One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.The World Health Organisation
Mental Health Awareness Month is meant to help change that. By raising awareness and decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health, people can feel more comfortable and open to talk about things such as their anxiety, depression, other mental health conditions and the associated issues that often accompany mental health issues such as substance addiction, family or relationship issues and many others.
Mental Health Conditions
Mental health conditions can range in severity from mild daily niggles to severe, crippling symptoms that require hospitalisation, and many people struggle with symptoms from more than one mental health condition at the same time, known as co-occurring conditions. These conditions can impact a person’s mood, thoughts, behaviours, relationships and life in general. Sometimes these symptom can become so dominating that some who have severe mental health conditions attempt to commit suicide, especially when it’s left untreated, diagnosed or recognised.
Did You Know – Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.The World Health Organisation
Mental health conditions can also be chronic (long term), but there is hope (and treatments) for a better future. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, you do not need to be ashamed or embarrassed. At Drink ‘n’ Drugs, we offer mental health services to help people better manage their symptoms and live a full, healthy and productive life.
Signs & Symptoms Someone May Need Help With Their Mental Health
The exact cause of mental health conditions are still being researched and are still largely still unknown, but typically they are a result of several factors such as genetics, environment, brain function, loss, brain chemistry or trauma. They can also happen to anyone, even without all these issues.
We all struggle with daily stresses from time to time and some may try to put on a brave face, so it can be hard to recognise when someone needs mental health treatment.
While mental health conditions can include a wide spectrum of symptoms, common warning signs and symptoms of mental illness may include:
- Pulling away from friends and family
- Extreme mood changes
- Lethargy and low energy
- Excessive worrying
- Irrational or exaggerated thinking
- General feeling of being down or low
- Reliance on drugs or alcohol
- Change in the persons appearance or personal hygiene
- No longer doing previously enjoyable interests, sports, clubs or hobbies
- Changes or development of financial issues or changes in spending habits
- Problems at work, school or education
- Planning or attempting suicide or self harm including cutting, burning, scratching, overdosing, hanging or others
- Failing to stick to or forgetting about plans, obligations, commitments or agreements
- Developing headaches, chest pains or stomach pains
- Restlessness or agitated behaviour
- Panic attacks
Even when someone is experiencing several symptoms, they may be hesitant to go to a mental health treatment centre, visit their GP or Doctor, or seek other community based mental health care.
Asking for mental health help is a huge first step, but we are here to guide you and your loved ones so that you can all live out your best futures, happily, together!
This Year Is More Important Than Ever
With the world battling COVID-19 in 2021, managing our mental health is more important than ever before. The combination of isolation, lockdowns, the worry and stress that accompanies it can worsen anyone’s mental health. For this reason, please do get involved with this year’s mental health month. The video below will help better explain how others are feeling at this moment in time too, so know that you aren’t alone!
How To Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month
Whether you struggle with mental health issues yourself or know someone who does, you can celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month in several different ways, including:
1. Get Involved
One way to observe Mental Health Awareness Month is to get involved in the efforts to spread information about mental health issues and the treatment options available.
Contact a local clinic or non-profit organisation that is already participating and volunteer. You can also use other resources at your disposal, such as social media to spread awareness of mental health on your own.
2. Acknowledge & Share Your Own Journey
Even if you haven’t formally struggled with a mental health disorder, everyone has their own unique journey with regard to their mental health. During the month of May, take some time to think about where you have been in the past and be grateful for the strides you have made. This is also the ideal time to think about any changes you want to make and/or goals you would like to set for the future.
3. Share Your Story
If you have struggled with a mental health condition, Mental Health Awareness Month is a good time to share your story if you are ready. Post on social media, open up to a loved one, tell us at Drink ‘n’ Drugs and we will share it with others on our social media pages or write a blog about your experiences. Chances are many of your friends and family are not aware of your struggles and your story can be eye-opening and impactful for them.
If you have struggled with your own mental health issues, share your story with others online and offline. Your story can be a huge motivator to help others see that it is possible to overcome mental health struggles and live a happier life. You may even save a life by sharing your story with others!
4. Reach Out for Help If You’re Struggling
Especially because of the Covid-19 pandemic, people everywhere are struggling with their mental health and the isolation that lockdown has caused. But know, you are not alone.
While it may seem intimidating, if you need help, ask for it. We offer on-site and virtual mental health care options to help you learn to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Make Mental Health Month the month you started your journey to healing.
At Drink ‘n’ Drugs, we want to be here for you. Contact us today to talk with our care team. Everything you say is confidential.
Sometimes, all you need is to vent to others who are, or have been where you are and understand what you’re going through. So why not speak to others like you on our social media pages (you can find links on our contact us page here).
IF YOU FEEL SUICIDAL OR SELF HARMING, CALL SAMARITANS 24/7 FOR FREE ON 116 123
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