Getting Ready for Mental Health Awareness Month in May
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For a long time in our country, mental health was considered a private matter that wasn’t discussed. In many cases, things have shifted in our collective consciousness for the better. The pandemic forced many of us to be more introspective and face our challenges without being able to mask them through other activities. The result is we’re being more open about our mental health concerns with each other and professionals. Here is what you should know about mental health awareness in May.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This observance began in 1949, but the dialogue about mental health in our country took a long time to catch up. The theme for 2023 is Physical Surroundings, and Mental Health America will look at how neighborhoods and built environments impact individual and community mental wellness.
Living in Asheville, this is an exciting topic. Our mountain landscape is widely regarded as healing, though we are also experiencing a mental health crisis like many other places in the country. So what should you know about mental health awareness in the area?
Resources for Mental Health in West Asheville
According to the CDC, 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder in their lifetime. And that number doesn’t account for the number of undiagnosed people. One in five people will face a mental health crisis in a given year, and one in five children are currently experiencing or have experienced mental health challenges.
The mental health crisis is leading to a challenge in finding resources and providers. People are struggling due to the high cost of mental health treatments and limited access through traditional insurance or healthcare providers. Where can you find help in Western North Carolina? Here are a few resources to get started.
For some WNC residents, online services may also be a good resource. Subscription online counseling is available through sites like BetterHelp and Cerebral.
Protecting Your Mental Health
“Self-Care” was a significant talking point before the pandemic, but during 2020 it rose to the top of our consciousness. But what we call self-care, such as taking long bubble baths or reading a book, isn’t accurate. Self-care is about advocating for your well-being and doing things that help your mental health stay balanced. Self-care can include:
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing mindfulness
- Eating healthy meals
- Making sleep a priority
- Practicing gratitude
- Making time for hobbies
- Focusing on the positive
What self-care activities help you stay more balanced?
Our values at GoPrime include helping others in our community. Knowing how to help others experiencing mental health challenges isn’t easy. But there are some things you can do for your loved ones, friends, and neighbors. For one-on-one support, consider the following:
- Listening more
- Being patient
- Keeping social connections
You can help by discussing mental health with others in the community. Share your experiences and be public if you’ve been diagnosed. The more we discuss and normalize mental health awareness, the more people feel comfortable seeking help themselves. Practice kindness and compassion around others. And when you’re able, participate or volunteer in community activities designed to spread the word about mental health awareness.
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