Observed in the U.S. since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is intended to bring attention to mental health problems, and what can be done to diagnose, treat and de-stigmatize them.
One in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, according to The National Alliance on Mental Health Illness (NAMI) -- which notes that just about every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family.
NAMI offers awareness-raising activities and resources to help fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.
Among the many other organizations and associations that are offering resources, Mental Health America (MHA) is using the event to educate people about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. These include risk factors such as risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns.
MHA also has a toolkit available with fact sheets, social media and more.
The American Psychological Association (APA) will host a series of events for various audience that address challenges for children’s mental health, LGBTIQ population, minority boys and men, caregivers and people with chronic illness
“More Americans than ever are living with mental health problems and the APA is working to shine a spotlight on issues such as the mental health implications of racial bias, postelection political talk and stress in the workplace, integrated mental health and primary care, caregivers’ mental health and more,” according to the association.