Many years ago, Mental Health America designated the month of May as "Mental Health Month." The purpose of this is to bring awareness to the public about mental illness and to inform everyone that treatment is available. Many other organizations, such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) also promote this month as a way to provide education and hopefully reduce the stigma that is still present regarding mental illness.
The theme for this year is "Get Connected" to emphasize the critical role that social relationships play in the lives of those who suffer from mental illness. As a therapist, I also believe it is crucial for my patients to identify who is a positive support system and healthy ways to communicate with these people. For instance, some people use texting as a quick and easy way to convey thoughts or feelings to loved ones. But, for others, texting causes anxiety due to the nature of immediacy and using more traditional methods (phone call, in person visit) are more helpful. I enjoy working with people to help them recognize their healthy support system and also ways that they can "Get Connected" with them to help in times of need.
I encourage all of you to take this opportunity to think about your own mental health. Maybe you are already in therapy or maybe it is something you have been considering for a long time. Unfortunately, there is still a negative connotation with getting help for mental health in our country. We can fight the stigma together by talking about mental illness, providing education to the public, and by encouraging those who need services to get the help they deserve. If you or someone you know is in need of mental health therapy, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!