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Mental Health Awareness Month

Sabrina Waite

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It’s May, Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness Month was started in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization or MHA. During May, MHA and other organizations have activities that are based on their yearly theme.

“We welcome other organizations to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the May is Mental Health Month toolkit materials and conducting awareness activities,” MHA’s website said. MHA releases their toolkit materials to guide people who want to participate in Mental Health Awareness Month.

“MHA will tie this year’s Mental Health Month theme to the content of its 2017 Annual Conference: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. The MHM campaign is titled Risky Business, and will educate the public on habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves. These include such diverse risk factors such as risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet/gaming addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns,” the MHA website says.

MHA started Mental Health Awareness Month due to the lack of representation and acknowledgment of mental illnesses in the media. They wanted people with mental illnesses to know that they are not alone. NAMI or the National Alliance on Mental Illness is another organization that strongly advocates Mental Health Awareness Month.

“One in Five Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family,” according to NAMI’s website. “Throughout May, NAMI and participants across the country are raising awareness for the importance of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. Each year, the movement grows stronger.”

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Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper
Mental Health Awareness Month