May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we can come together to raise awareness and educate the public about the significance of mental health. Just as physical health is important for our overall well-being, mental health also plays a vital role in shaping our quality of life. It is essential for individuals to acknowledge the importance of mental health, prioritize it in their daily lives and actively seek out support to maintain a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle. By engaging in conversations and initiatives that promote mental health awareness, we can create a more compassionate and understanding society.

What is Mental Health Awareness Month?

May has been officially observed as mental health awareness month since 1949, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Mental Health Awareness Month aims to break down the stigmas associated with mental health, encouraging open and honest conversations about topics that are important. This is a great time for people who don’t engage in regular reflection to take stock of their internal self. Things like mental health awareness month can start a dialogue for people who may not know where to start when it comes to caring for their mental health more regularly.

10 Ways to Support Mental Health

There are several ways that you can support mental well-being, during both mental health awareness month and throughout the year. Many of these can also be used as mental health awareness month activities for you and your loved ones to increase dialogue and awareness of what a healthy mind means to ourselves and those in our community:

1. Educate yourself and others

The first step in supporting mental health is to educate yourself and others. Take the time to learn about different mental health conditions, their symptoms and how they can impact someone’s life. Share this knowledge with others to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

2. Listen and show empathy

One of the most powerful ways to support someone with mental health issues is to listen and show empathy. Often, people just need someone to talk to and feel heard and understood. Be patient, non-judgmental and offer support and understanding.

3. Check-in regularly

Schedule time to check in with your friends and loved ones on a regular basis. Ask how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to support them. This simple gesture can make a significant impact on someone’s well-being.

You should also make dedicated time to check in with yourself. Whether this be through activities like meditation or journaling, having a strong inner dialogue can help you recognize patterns in your mental health and create healthy habits.

4. Be mindful of your language

The language that we choose to use has the ability to greatly influence the way in which we view mental health conditions. It is crucial to refrain from using derogatory language or making light of mental illnesses through jokes. Rather, it is important to embrace person-first language and to be conscientious of how our words can impact those around us, especially individuals who may be struggling with their mental health. By being mindful of our language, we can create a more understanding and supportive environment for everyone.

5. Support mental health organizations

There are numerous non-profit organizations and charitable institutions that are fervently dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for mental health issues, as well as working towards reducing the stigma that is often associated with mental illness. These organizations offer various resources and support services to people and families affected by mental health challenges, as well as seek to educate the public about the importance of mental well-being.

By contributing your time or financial resources to these organizations, you can play a crucial role in helping to make a positive impact and bringing about positive change in the way mental health is perceived and addressed in society. Your support can help to fund vital programs, initiatives and services that are designed to improve mental health outcomes and provide much-needed assistance to those in need. Whether you choose to volunteer your time, make a donation or participate in fundraising events, your involvement can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals struggling with mental health issues and help to create a more compassionate and understanding society for all.

6. Practice self-care

Taking care of your mental well-being should be a top priority in your daily routine. It is crucial to make time for activities that bring you joy and help you unwind. Whether it is engaging in a good book, participating in physical exercise or simply spending time in the great outdoors, taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining a healthy mind. Remember to always put your mental health first and prioritize self-care in your daily life.

7. Help educate children and teens

Mental health education is a vital component of a child’s overall development and well-being, and it is important to start discussing these topics at a young age. By engaging in open conversations with children and teenagers about mental health, we can empower them with the knowledge and tools to recognize and cope with their emotions in a healthy and productive manner. By equipping our youth with these skills, we can work towards reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues and promoting greater understanding and empathy within our communities. It is through education and open communication that we can create a more supportive and compassionate society for individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

8. Advocate for mental health

It is important to use your voice as a powerful tool to advocate for mental health. By openly sharing your own experiences with mental health challenges, you can help reduce the stigma surrounding these issues and show others that they are not alone. Additionally, educating others about mental health and the various disorders that can impact individuals can help increase awareness and understanding. By supporting policies and initiatives that promote mental health awareness and provide resources for those in need, you can help create a more supportive and compassionate society for those struggling with mental health issues.

9. Be a role model

It is important to lead by example and set a positive role model for those around you. By taking care of your own mental health and demonstrating self-care practices, you can show others that it is okay to prioritize their well-being. This can have a powerful impact in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues and can encourage others to seek help when needed. When you prioritize your own mental health, you are not only taking care of yourself, but you are also showing others the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. By being open and honest about your own struggles and how you are addressing them, you can create a supportive environment that promotes mental wellness for everyone. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish, but rather essential for your overall well-being and the well-being of those around you.

10. Seek help when needed

Lastly, if you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Talk to a therapist or reach out to a support group. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and while it may seem daunting, professionals in the mental health sphere are here to help you.

Old Vineyard is proud to offer several different mental health programs tailored to various needs and experiences. Our dedicated staff is here to help you improve your quality of life and create lifelong healthy habits. Call us at (336) 794-3550 or fill out our online assessment to see how we can help you achieve your mental health goals this May.

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services is a treatment center that provides compassionate inpatient and outpatient treatment to help those achieve meaningful mental health and wellness. We treat a variety of behavioral health disorders including trauma, depression, mood disorders and more.

Our team of dedicated staff pride themselves on creating a safe and welcoming environment for all of our patients and their loved ones. Some of our services include our treatment, specialty and outpatient programs. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we provide a beautiful, campus-like atmosphere.

To schedule a consultation with us or for more information, please call 855-602-5920.