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National Mental Health Month

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Mental health is an essential component of overall well-being,  yet, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 1 in 5 adults deals with some kind of diagnosable mental condition.    Across cultures and ethnicities, many people do not feel free to speak openly about whatever mental health issues they might be facing. For more than 60 years, National Mental Health Month has been spreading awareness about the importance of a positive mental state, as well as removing the stigma associated with mental health disorders.   

 

Held throughout the month of May, Mental Health Month began in 1949 as Mental Health Week. Two decades later, the event was expanded to a month, and since then the May event has been marked with events, media, and information regarding available treatment for disorders .  The theme for National Mental Health Month 2013 is Pathways to Wellness.

 

The first week in May (this year May 5-11) has been designated as Children's Mental Health Week.  Children and adolescents are not exempt from having to deal with conditions such as various forms of depression, ADD and ADHD, anxiety, and eating disorders. This observance emphasizes that having and dealing with a particular mental condition is not shameful and should not be stigmatized. Rather, it is common thing, and individuals should work toward accepting their presence, gathering information, and learning how to effectively treat it to lead healthy lives.

 

Mental Health Month is celebrated by Mental Health America, by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI),  the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, the mental health treatment nonprofit Terros Organization, the faith-based organization Mental Health Ministries, and many other nonprofits and associations throughout the United States.   

 

See our gallery below to learn more about the groups that treat, research, and spread awareness about mental health and mental health disorders.