May Mental Health Awareness Month

What is May Mental Health Awareness Month?

Since 1949, May has been observed as National Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when advocates and activists across the country draw attention to the mental health issues that affect as many as one in four Americans. Today, more people die from suicide in the United States than from traffic accidents or homicides, and we lose 22 veterans to suicide daily.

Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many people are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek the help they need for themselves or their loved ones. National Mental Health Awareness Month is a time when we work together to break through that stigma. We express compassion for those who struggle with mental health issues, and we draw attention to the proven methods that can help change their lives for the better.

Congressional Events for May Mental Health Awareness Month:

May 7, 2014 – National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. There will be a briefing and panel discussion to highlight the impact of trauma on positive youth development, systems of care, programs aimed at improving care coordination, and the service capacity of our current mental health system.

May 8, 2014 – Native American Youth Mental Health Panel. More information coming soon.

May 21, 2014 – Military/Veteran Mental Health Awareness Day. The Military Mental Health Caucus will host a briefing about the ongoing mental health crisis in the military and what is being done to address it.

May 29, 2014 – LGBT Family Acceptance & Youth Suicide Prevention. More information coming soon.

Join the conversation and spread the word on Twitter by following me at @gracenapolitano. Also, please use the official Mental Health Awareness Month hashtag #mhm2014 to participate.

Materials related to these events will be posted online, and recorded videos for some events will be available online following the events. Please continue to check this web page for updates.