May is Mental Health Awareness Month

on Thursday, 11 May 2017.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year, health organizations across the country recognize May as Mental Health Awareness month. This month is dedicated to providing aid and support to those dealing with mental illness, as well as providing information and education to every American. It is important to learn about mental health so that society can stop stigmatizing those who are mentally ill and begin to help understand them.

What is mental health? The dictionary defines mental health as a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being. For many people, their mental health is affected by things like stress, anxiety, nerves, paranoia or fear. However, some people have diagnosed mental illnesses.

Commonly known mental illnesses include depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder. These disorders are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. They are not personality traits or a way in which an individual chooses to behave. It is important to understand that depression goes beyond typical sadness and cannot be overcome as easily. People with mental health issues must work to live with them on a daily basis. 

Though some conditions are more severe than others, one in five Americans each year will experience some type of mental health issue. Some conditions can be managed through doctor prescribed medications, but it also helps to seek guidance through therapy. If someone close to you is struggling with a mental illness, it may be beneficial for you to speak with a professional together.

Understanding mental health is the key to removing the negative stigma that often causes many individuals not to seek the help they need. It is something that many people struggle with and if we can start to facilitate dialogue and education about mental health, we can start to improve the ways in which we treat it. 

For more information on mental health and what you can do during the month of May, please visit

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