Posted on May 18, 2022 by thesociallink
Mental Health Awareness Month 2022 Goes “Back To Basics”
Ever take a “mental health day” when the work stress got to be too much? No one is immune to life’s pressures, which is why Mental Health Awareness Month is a timely reminder that it’s OK to slow down and check in with yourself.
The annual observation, sponsored by Mental Health America, has been around since 1949, so the notion of protecting our mental health is not new. This year, the theme is “Back To Basics,” a timely reminder that having a strong foundation of awareness around mental health can help prevent problems from becoming too severe.
Many other groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, get the word out during the month of May as well. This year is no different, with NAMI nothing that “After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being.” Our goal is to provide foundational knowledge about mental health & mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.
A mental health issue should never be stigmatized
Millions of Americans live with mental illness. Unfortunately, they often are singled out because of that diagnosis, and treated differently. That kind of reaction is why many people never seek out therapy or other kinds of care in the first place. During May, it’s essential to educate ourselves, as well as those around us, on what mental health is really all about — and to advocate for policies that support those living with mental illness, their families and caregivers.
With that in mind, here are a few terms to be aware of, compliments of Mental Health America.
Coping skill: a strategy to help you deal with difficult situations and lessen unpleasant emotions, thoughts, or behaviors
Lived experience: first-hand, personal experience dealing with a mental health or substance use challenge
Mental health concern: anything that causes a person to believe their mental health may be suffering; could be a symptom, a group of symptoms, or a diagnosable mental health condition
Mental health condition: a set of related symptoms that have been recognized by the mental health community; includes conditions defined in the DSM-V, ICD-11, and by people with lived experience
Neurotransmitters: chemicals that carry messages throughout your brain
Self-stigma: negative attitudes and shame regarding an individual’s own mental health, resulting from internalizing public stigma.
The more we know about mental health, the more we can be 1) aware of our own status and risk factors, and 2) the more supportive we can be to friends and family who have a diagnosis or are in a rough spot and need assistance.
Taking care of our bodies through diet and exercise is essential for physical health. Too often we don’t pay the same kind of heed to our minds, which are working overtime every day to make decisions, interact with others, handle stress and much more. The aforementioned diet and exercise, along with enough sleep, seeking professional care when feeling overwhelmed and taking some down time (the elusive work-life balance) is vital for good mental health.
Why not make this month the time to put some new, good habits into place?
Follow along with Social Link for more tips!