Mental Health Awareness Month

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Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the United States through the media, local events, and screenings.[1]

Mental Health Awareness Month also comes to the United States via the Mental Health America organization. During the month, National Health America runs a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.

In 2010, the theme was 'Live Your Life Well'. [2] 'Live Your Life Well' was a theme designed to encourage people to take responsibility for the prevention of mental health issues during times of personal challenge and stress. The message was to inform the public that many mental health problems could be avoided by striving toward and making positive lifestyle choices in the ways we act and think.[2]

The theme for the 2014 Mental Health Awareness month was “Mind Your Health”. A focus of that year's theme was to create a motivational effort that will put toward the goal of building public recognition in regards to the importance of mental health and to the overall health and wellness of those around us. The association hopes to inform United States citizens of the connection between the mind and body; and intends to provide advice, tips and strategies that will encourage people to take positive actions and protective measures for one’s own mental health, and whole-body health.[1]

Mental Health America is not the only organization to run campaigns throughout May. Many other similar organizations choose to coincide with Mental Health Awareness month. National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is one such campaign. This event is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA).[3]

Many other months are also recognized for similar mental health awareness programs. For a list of some in America, see: http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/nationalmentalhealthmonth.html

Its purpose is to raise awareness about mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Mental Health Awareness Month also aims to educate communities about psychological disorders, while reducing the stigma that surrounds them. The month came about by presidential proclamation.[4]

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