May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Written by Staci Ashmore, MA Behavioral Health Program Manager
The month of May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the impacts of trauma on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Each year millions of Americans struggle with a mental health or substance use challenge. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical providers and communities have noticed mental health struggles and substance use on the rise.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, many local and national organizations have created resources and events to raise awareness and create a safe space for those currently facing a mental health challenge. Below are just a few resources for providers, patients, or anyone struggling with a mental health challenge.
The Illinois Light Initiative
The Illinois Light Initiative is spreading awareness in Illinois through the #WeHEALUS and #ILHealing campaign by sharing resources with local communities on how they can be more trauma-informed. Organizations can join the movement by visiting the Illinois Light Initiative’s website and taking the pledge or participating in the many events happing in May. Learn More
The National Alliance on Mental Health
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) campaign this year focuses on togetherness, bringing everyone together to advocate for mental health and access to care. On their website you can find toolkits, national events, and their pledge to be stigma free. NAMI Illinois also has state resources and information on local support groups.
Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) provides foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions, while informing people on what they can do if their mental health is a cause for concern. MHA has created many resources for the community including a detailed toolkit that is available in English and Spanish. Learn More
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of over 180 crisis centers has been in operation since 2005, with counselors available all over the nation. When people call 1-800-273-8255, a person in crisis is connected to a crisis counselor in their area if available. To make finding help easier 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The official launch will be July 16, 2022. Learn More