Mental Health Awareness Month

by Giuliana Maselli

Lion’s Roar Staff

This year, more than ever, Mental Health Awareness Month is resonating with untold numbers of people who have been suffering from the isolation, loneliness, and anxiety from quarantining during a global pandemic. The past 14 months have had a tremendous impact on both teens and adults alike. As a result, many people may be experiencing a rise in alcohol and drug use, as well as insomnia and anxiety.

So, what is exactly Mental Health Awareness Month and what is it dedicated to? The month is dedicated to increasing public knowledge and education about mental disorders, the challenges of coping with them, and the methods for achieving mental wellbeing and wellness.

The stigma associated with mental illness is a common issue that influences whether or not people seek care. Mental health is a serious matter and if you don’t get better on your own and can be linked to other health issues if left untreated. But, no single method effectively treats everyone. Some treatments include Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy,” medications, case management, when needed, hospitalization, support groups, and alternative medications.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. One of every five Americans has suffered from a mental illness, with one out of every 25 suffering from a severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Each year, over 800,000 people die by suicide around the world, with over 41,000 in the United States alone. It is the world's second leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29.

One of the reasons that May is designated as Mental Health Month is that there is so much more work to be done in terms of study, care, and understanding.

Many people aren't aware of mental health problems unless they are personally affected by a tragedy like suicide. Mental Health Month aims to foster a more constructive and compassionate approach to dealing with mental illnesses. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter can serve as excellent platforms for encouraging people to be open-minded and curious about mental illness.

Mental disorder is sometimes misunderstood by the general public. Learn more about it and then share what you've learned with others. This involves having age-appropriate conversations with children about mental health. Mental illness does not discriminate between children and adults, and disorders such as depression and anxiety can strike as early as elementary school.