• NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH – MAY

    NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

    National Mental Health Awareness Month in May focuses on bringing tools, resources, and education to the general public

    Each year Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and other mental health organizations across the country organize events, webinars, and more to improve mental health access across the country.

    Mental health is a hot topic. This is good news. It means the stigma for mental health issues is slowly going away. Mental health issues are finally getting the attention they deserve. Healthcare workers and individuals feel they can discuss mental health more openly. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, however.

    As a whole, we often misunderstand mental health because it is hard to define. Additionally, mental health includes several areas. These areas involve one’s social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Mental health affects thoughts, feelings, and actions. When one has positive mental health, they are better equipped to handle stress, be more productive, and realize their full potential.

    While we focus on our physical wellbeing, the food we eat, exercise, and getting regular check-ups for vision and dental care, we often forget to take stock of our emotional and spiritual needs. Everyday demands take their toll.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

    Share the message. Taking care of our mental health is as normal as eating healthy, exercising, or even saving for the future. Share your story to help others understand that achieving mental health is a daily process.

    If you or someone you know needs to seek assistance check out one of these resources:

    Mental Health America
    nami.org
    mentalhealth.org
    National Institutes of Mental Health
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
    American Psychiatric Association

    You can also learn about these 5 Advocates Who Influenced Modern Mental Health Care.

    Use #MentalHealthMonth to share on social media.

    MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY

    Mental Health America created Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949 to provide Americans with tools and resources as part of their outreach program to improve mental health. Each year the campaign includes a theme.

    Past campaign themes:

    • 2020 – Tools 2 Thrive
    • 2019 – 4 Mind 4 Body
    • 2018 – Fitness 4 Mind 4 Body
    • 2017 – Risky Business
    • 2016 – Life with Mental Illness
    • 2015 – B4 Stage 4
    • 2014 – Mind Your Health

     

     

  • NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH – September

    NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH

    The month provides a platform for services and professionals to educate the public about substance abuse treatments and mental health services.

    While substance abuse and mental health services are nothing new, the stigma attached to them remains. September provides not only an opportunity to help eliminate the stigma but to demonstrate the human face behind the disease. The month serves as a celebration of the steps taking to improve access, information, and treatment.

    Through seminars, documentaries, public service announcements, and awareness walks, communities will bring hope. These messages will include access to referrals, phone numbers, and tools. Every year, new resources, data, and treatments become available. Improving awareness and access, along with preventative education improve outcomes.

    Along with education, the month celebrates those who succeed in recovery. Each success story seeks to improve understanding and provide answers to those who still have questions. Families, first responders, clergy, employers, and communities as a whole play a part in recovery and awareness. Success stories include barriers and obstacles. And the success stories aren’t just for those living the struggle; they’re for those who help tear down the barriers.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRecoveryMonth

    Look for events near you. Participate in a seminar, awareness walk, or attend a documentary to learn about addiction. Celebrate your journey of recovery to help others succeed with you. Follow the history of National Recovery Month at the SAMHSA website. Use #NationalRecoveryMonth to share on social media.

    NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH HISTORY

    In 1989, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) launched National Recovery Month to increase awareness surrounding mental health and substance abuse. At the same time, they wanted to celebrate the success stories to illustrate that living in recovery is possible. Each year, the SAMSHA selects a theme, highlighting an area of focus and creating a toolkit for organizations to use.

     

  • NATIONAL PTSD AWARENESS MONTH – June

    NATIONAL PTSD AWARENESS MONTH

    National PTSD Awareness Month is observed annually in June. The month is dedicated to raising awareness about the condition and how to access treatment. June 27th is also National PTSD Awareness Day

    According to the National Center for PTSD, between 7 and 8 percent of the population will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during their lifetime.

    Men, women, and children can experience PTSD as a result of trauma in their lives. Events due to combat, accidents, disasters, and abuse are just a few of the causes of PSTD. No matter the reason, PTSD is treatable, but not everyone seeks treatment. There are resources available to help diagnosis PTSD and get help. There is no shame in seeking assistance.

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    If you or someone you know might be experiencing PTSD, visit these resources below, or seek professional care from a therapist who has experience treating PTSD.

    Use #PTSDAwarenessMonth to share support, resources, and follow on social media.

    HISTORY

    National PTSD Awareness Month is a campaign supported by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

     

  • NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH – September

    NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH

    September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Also known as Suicide Awareness Month, the month shines a spotlight on a topic not often talked about.

    Everyone is affected by suicide, not just the victim. Suicide impacts family and friends long after the loss of a loved one. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. Two-thirds of the people who commit suicide suffer from depression.

    “We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.” – National Alliance on Mental Illness Website

    One way to help prevent suicide is to increase access to treatment for depression. However, identifying depression can be difficult. Not all people who suffer from depression show signs. The first step in identifying someone who is suffering from depression and contemplating suicide is to see how serious the issue is. Talking to the person involved and asking about their thoughts will decrease the trigger of suicidal action. Suggesting a counselor or treatment for depression might also help. Often, people who are depressed need a caring friend. A common fallacy is that people who talk about suicide never act on it. If a friend or loved one is talking about suicide, it’s time to get help for that person.

    The mental health of yourself or a loved one can never be taken too seriously. Whether the weight of a long-term struggle or a crisis weighs you down, allow friends, family or a profession to lighten the burden by finding support.  There is no shame in seeking help.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSuicidePreventionMonth

    Learning about suicide prevention during the month of September is a great way to educate yourself and others. If you or someone you know needs emergency assistance, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Find more help at www.nami.org/Find-Support.

    Use #NationalSuicidePreventionMonth on social media.

    Regarding the question of suicide, keep it a question. It’s not really an answer.” – Peter McWilliams

    NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH HISTORY

    The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) has designated September as National Suicide Prevention Month.

  • May Monthly Observations

    MAY NATIONAL MONTHS

     

     

  • PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH – November

    PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH

    In November, we honor Prematurity Awareness Month. About 15 million babies around the world are born prematurely every year, and around 1 million don’t survive. During this month, organizations and individuals come together to raise awareness about the seriousness of premature birth, and how dangerous it is worldwide.

    Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks, which is considered healthy. If a baby is born before 37 weeks gestation, that baby is premature, which can pose several health risks. And it’s not only the babies that need special care. Oftentimes, the mother needs it as well. When a mother gives birth to a premature baby, a lot of physical and emotional stress comes with it. If their baby has to live at the hospital for the first month or so because of the premature birth, mothers often lose sleep due to late nights at the hospital, suffer from feelings of guilt, anxiety, and depression, and feel like failures. It’s important to take physical and mental health of the mother into consideration, just as much as it is for the baby.

    When is World Prematurity Day?

    This month, speak up to raise awareness about premature birth. The more we talk about issues like this, the faster we will have answers and solutions.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #PrematurityAwarenessMonth

    Use #PrematurityAwarenessMonth to post on social media. Click here for a list of events that the March of Dimes puts on each November, and attend one near you. Here are some other staggering facts about premature birth.

    • Around 11.4% of pregnancies end in early deliveries.
    • About 450,000 babies in the U.S. are born premature every year.
    • 80% of premature births are not expected to be early.
    • Close to 30% are due to preterm rupture of membranes.
    • Medical expenses for premature babies are around $54,000, compared to $4,000 for a healthy, full-term newborn.

    The good news: The rate of premature births in the U.S. is dropping every year. The more we talk and raise awareness, the more this number will drop!

    PREMATURITY AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY

    Prematurity Awareness Month is a part of the March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Campaign which began in 2003.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

  • NATIONAL COPD AWARENESS MONTH | November

    NATIONAL COPD AWARENESS MONTH | November

    National COPD Awareness Month dedicates all of November to educating the public about a disease that makes breathing difficult. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is any disorder that persistently bronchial obstructs airflow. During National COPD Awareness Month, learn about the causes and become an advocate for prevention.

    One of the biggest causes of COPD is smoking. While it’s not the only cause, this lifestyle factor plays an overwhelming role in determining risk factors for COPD.  If you care about your respiratory health and you smoke, take steps to quit smoking now.  Other environmental factors that may point toward COPD include dust, chemical exposure and more.

    Throughout the month, organizations will hold events providing opportunities for you to learn about COPD. Test your risk factors or find out how to rally support. While you’re learning, participate in activities that will test your knowledge and help you breathe a little easier.  Hopefully, these events clear the air a bit and point the way toward a healthier lifestyle for your family or answer questions about COPD.

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    Learn more about COPD by visiting www.cdc.gov.  Help prevent it and support those who have it.  Use #COPDAwarenessMonth to post on social media.

    HISTORY

    The American Lung Association created National COPD Awareness Month to focus on the growing concern related to pulmonary conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis which fall under the category of COPD.

    There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!

  • NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH – October

    National Domestic Violence Awareness Month - October

    NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

    National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. 

    Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. 

    1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

     

    Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

    • Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
    • The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.
    • It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
    • Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.
    • They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
    • They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    Use #DomesticViolenceAwareness to post on social media. Sometimes, people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they’re used to their partner calling them crazy or making them feel like all the problems are their own fault. Here are a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.

    1. Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.
    2. Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.
    3. Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.
    4. Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.
    5. Your partner threatens you or your family.
    6. Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)

    HISTORY

    Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.

    As this month comes to an end, the important discussion it brings to the forefront about domestic violence’s horrific repercussions should not.

    If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.

  • HEAD START AWARENESS MONTH | October

    HEAD START AWARENESS MONTH | October

    October reminds of Head Start Awareness Month. Head Start programs promote school readiness for children up to five years old from low-income families by working with them, and teaching at their own pace. During Head Start Awareness Month, we celebrate all the work these programs have done for families and children in our communities. 

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    Support a Head Start near you and use #HeadStartAwareness to post on social media. Research shows millions of American children are in need of the opportunities that Head Start programs provide… So, the more you support Head Start, the more children will have a chance at more effective learning. The best way to celebrate Head Start Awareness Month is to spread the word on social media as much as possible, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can also donate to the organization by clicking here. Here are a few ways Head Start programs support children’s growth and development through their services. 

    1. Health- All children receive health and development screenings , mental health support, and nutritious meals, as well as medical and dental services as well.
    2. Early learning- Head Start knows children’s readiness for school comes from learning experiences as well as their environments. These programs help kids form relationships with adults and other children so they grow in many aspects of development.
    3. Family well-being- Head start programs strengthen and support children’s relationships with their parents, and bring families together to show the importance of education, financial security, and housing stability. (Head start offers help in all these areas)
    HISTORY

    President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Head Start Awareness Month on October 22, 1982. However, the Head Start program itself was created by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 to provide comprehensive health, nutrition, and educational opportunities for children and families across the United States.

  • Stress Awareness Month – April

    STRESS AWARENESS MONTH

    Stress Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in April. Have you ever been in a situation that was a little (or a lot) overwhelming, you had deadlines approaching and a mile-long to-do list, and you were just in way over your head?! Well, you’re definitely not alone. Everyone feels stressed from time to time, especially as we get older and the responsibilities really pile onto our plate. The thing about stress is, a little bit of it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too much of it can be detrimental to our emotional and physical health. Learning to find a healthy balance is the best way to live a productive, happy life.

    A small amount of stress once in a while is a good thing because it means you’re working hard and you care about what you’re doing. If you were never stressed, that would probably mean you’re living a lethargic lifestyle without a whole lot of work involved. However, too much stress doesn’t allow us to think straight, and is overbearing and counterproductive. Prolonged stress leads to real physical problems and can cause strokes, IBS, ulcers, diabetes, muscle and joint pain, miscarriages, etc.

    This month, recognize the difference between good and bad stress and try to find your happy place within the madness.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #StressAwarenessMonth

    Use #NationalStressAwarenessMonth or #StressAwarenessMonth to post on social media. This month, we are all challenged to keep our stress levels low, and our peace levels high. Here are some great ways to keep your mind clear and de-stress if you find yourself getting too overwhelmed.

    1. Exercise. You’ve probably heard this one before, and even though it’s probably not exactly what you want to do when you’re feeling stressed (because laying on the couch and watching movies sounds more appealing), exercising gets endorphins pumping through your brain, which triggers a happy feeling. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones like cortisol, and releases chemicals that make you feel more at peace.
    2. Think about taking natural supplements to help you feel more at ease. Natural remedies like lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, ashwagandha, green tea, and essential oils are very helpful.
    3. Light a candle or turn on the oil diffusers, put on some soft, soothing music and dim the lights. Take a deep breath and count your blessings.
    4. Caffeine intake reduction can help (even though it’s tough to kick the coffee!) because caffeine tends to make us jittery, which can cause stress and anxiety.
    5. Spend time laughing with friends and family. Let yourself have a good time and get your mind off the busyness of the real world.

    STRESS AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY

    Stress Awareness Month is supported every year by the Stress Management Society.