National Mental Health Awareness Month: Help and Resources

"Shame and stigma too often leave people feeling like there is no place to turn. We need to make sure they know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness—it is a sign of strength."

A proclamation by President Obama urges individuals, health care professionals, and organizations to celebrate National Mental Health Awareness Month throughout May, and to work continuously to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

People with mental health disorders are often alone, poor, and subject to trauma and other risk factors. Often, they don’t have access to treatment. Sometimes their friends and families, due to the challenges presented by mental illness, are absent from their lives. Frequently, they lack quality of life.

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, offers tools to help. Individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and a range of conditions can call the toll-free Treatment Referral line at 800.662.4357 (HELP) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK). Both helplines provide assistance to those in crisis—and information on where to go for help. SAMHSA also offers an online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.

In “5 Ways I Reduce Stress and Boost My Mental Health,” mental health advocate Jennifer Moyer discusses methods she uses to decrease depression and anxiety when she feels symptoms coming on. Among her strategies: Exercise, follow a routine that provides both stability and flexibility, and reach out to friends and family for help and support.

“Staying Well When You Have a Mental Illness” offers tips for getting help and achieving recovery. Chief among the tips is the importance of connecting with others—spending time with positive people and enjoying relationships that are based on love and trust.

Find out about National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, taking place on Thursday, May 9, 2013.

Read about the success mental health care organizations have achieved with Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training.

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