Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949 and was started by the Mental Health America (MHA) organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). MHA produces a toolkit of materials to guide preparation for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month which include resources, publications, and events to promote individual and community advocacy, awareness, and education regarding those suffering from mental health issues. Per the Mental Health America (of Georgia), “During the course of a year, more than 57 million
Americans are affected by tone or more mental disorders.”
In keeping with educating the public about the serious issue of mental health and the needed attention to those impacted, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has issued challenges to promote a stigma free perspective about mental illness and those impacted by it. Some dates and activities to keep in mind (please see nami.org/MentalHealthMonth):
• Thursday, May 20: MTV’s Mental Health Day of Action
“To help inspire people to talk about their lived experience, destigmatize mental health, and galvanize a movement to drive significant cultural, political and policy changes, this Mental Health Action Day aims to lift the conversation from awareness to action.”
• Saturday, May 22: NAMIWalks Your Way: A United Day of Hope
Many virtual NAMIWalks throughout the country will coincide on this day to help bring awareness and spread the message of Mental Health for All! Visit NAMIWalks.org for more information.
• The community is encouraged to Activate a Watch Party. Watch a TV show or film about mental llness and host a virtual watch party and/or discussion group. For some ideas, visit this page. You may visit, NAMI’s webiste to take the Stigma Free quiz and take the pledge.
For crisis services and/or connection to mental health and substance abuse services, you may contact the Georgia Crisis & Access Line at 1-800-715-4225 or check out the website: mygcal.com. You can also check out NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI; Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.
If you or a loved one you know is experiencing stress, mood changes, relationship difficulty, or other major concerns, please consider reaching out to a mental health provider or doctor. There are online mental health screening tools available to help you determine next steps. Check out: https://www.mhanational.org/self-help-tools