Mental Health Awareness Month - Resources and Actions
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. And Thursday, May 18 is the third annual Mental Health Action Day – a day created to shift mental health awareness to actionable steps toward better mental health. This blog post contains information about why mental health is important, and resources you can check out for yourself, or share with your friends, family, and peers.
Taking steps to maintain mental health is important for a balanced and enjoyable life, just like it is with your physical health. Mental health is even closely linked to chronic illness and disability, meaning that investing in your emotional wellbeing reduces your risk for diseases like cancer and diabetes.
While discussion around the importance of mental health is more visible than ever, there are still many barriers that prevent people who are struggling from finding care and treatment. That’s why being aware of important resources and knowing what actions to take is necessary every month of the year, not just in May.
Mental Health Resources
This initiative aims to normalize the conversation surrounding mental health, provide educational resources, and inspire action to improve mental health (through Mental Health Action Day, among other projects). For ideas, this PDF contains 18 things you can do to support yourself and your mental health.
Their Mental Health 101 page is a great starting point for anyone who isn’t familiar with ways to improve and protect mental health, or with what to do in a crisis. It provides definitions for important concepts like self-care, mindfulness, and coping – each are important for supporting a healthy mind and headspace.
Created to help prevent suicide among young adults, the Jed Foundation is a leading nonprofit in the mental health space. They also happen to be a Cooke Foundation Grantee! Their comprehensive resource center is like a search engine dedicated to building a healthier life through improved mental health. They even have a whole page about how to find “your people” and foster meaningful connections with others. The “Just Press Pause” page has free video resources for slowing down and enjoying life, like guided meditations and journaling prompts to check in with yourself.
ADAA’s mission is to prevent and find treatments for common mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. They do this through organizing education and training resources among their network of mental health professionals and experts. This directory can help you find a therapist in your city, and allows for specific treatment options like telehealth or group therapy. The ADAA also has a commitment to better care through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and lists valuable resources for diverse communities on this page.
If you are in crisis, you can call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing 988. This service is available in English and Spanish. You can also text this number to contact a crisis counselor.