May is Mental Health Month
Even though one in five Americans experience a mental health condition every year, the public remains largely ignorant about the impact of mental illness on our society – and what we as providers, family members, friends, consumers, and concerned citizens can do to help. Hopefully, President Obama’s declaration of May as Mental Health Month will help bring awareness, support, and resources to this vital issue.
“This month, we must bring mental illness out of the shadows and encourage treatment for those who might benefit; it is our shared responsibility to recognize the signs of psychological and emotional distress and to support those in need,” said the presidential declaration. “We must strive to remove the stigma around mental illness and its treatment, overcome fear and is understanding, and make sure all those dealing with a mental health issue know they are not alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness – taking action to help yourself is a sign of strength.”
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week
The National Council released a new video series on GRIT (Guts, Resilience, Identification & Treatment) to celebrate National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week featuring insight from Ben Shapiro, Dr. Harold Koplewicz, Dr. Mary McKay and Dr. John Kane. Click here to watch the videos.
See the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign for more facts about the state of children’s mental health in the US.
Check out Youth Mental Health First Aid for resources for those who work with youth recognize early signs of mental illness and substance use, provide support in possible crises and refer young people to professional help or other resources.
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions presented Consultation for Kids: Models of Psychiatric Consultation in Pediatric Primary Care on May 4 to review how a busy clinician can effectively tap into psychiatric consultation to provide high quality mental health care. View the presentation and recording online.
Older Americans and Veterans Mental Health Recognition
The week of May 18 2015 is recognized as Older Americans Mental Health Week, and the following week (May 25, Memorial Day) will honor Veterans and Military Mental Health. Click here for our recognition of Memorial Day 2015 (including mental health resources for for veterans and active service members).
Mental Health First Aid for Veterans is another invaluable resource:
“While military service often fosters resilience in individuals and families, some service members may experience mental health or substance use challenges. Thirty percent of active duty and reserve military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a mental health condition requiring treatment – approximately 730,000 men and women, with many experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. Sadly, less than 50 percent of returning veterans in need receive any mental health treatment. The Veterans Administration reports that approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day.
Individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid can help to:
*Break down the stigma associated with mental illness like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders
*Reach out to those who suffer in silence, reluctant to seek help
*Let veterans know that support is available in their community
*Provide community resource information
*Make mental healthcare and treatment accessible to thousands in need…”
Click here to read more
Shared with permission of the National Council of Behavioral Health.
Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY Behavioral Health Practice Management.