Mental Health Awareness Month

May 2024 - Mental Health Month Blog 1

The month of May has a lot going on! From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day to the end of the school year – it’s a busy time for students, families and many community members. While we want to acknowledge these important observations, we want to also acknowledge that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a time to raise our voices to support mental healthcare and mental well-being for all. Join us and other stakeholders this month as we spread awareness and support for everyone’s mental health.

The first week of May is Children’s Mental Health week. According to recent data, half of all mental illness begins by age 14. More than ever, many children and teens need support, resources, and professional mental help. For the month of May, we will be dropping mini toolkits that include resources applicable to anyone taking care of their mental health. We have dropped the first mini toolkit, specific to Children’s Mental Health Week, but check back each week as we explore themes that empowers our community in supporting mental health.

An important distinction should be made between mental health and mental illness. Mental health is a state of well-being in which the person realizes their own abilities, can cope with stresses of life, and can function in society. Mental illness is a diagnosed health condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. It may even impact a person’s ability to function each day. It is important to note the difference, as these terms are used often.

Research tells us that 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental health condition. Odds are most of us know or have known someone with a mental health condition. The most common mental health conditions are:

  • depressive disorders
  • anxiety
  • co-occurring substance use disorder
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • bipolar disorder

There are many factors that shape the mental health of people from a societal level, environmental level, community level, family level, and individual level. Everyone’s mental health is impacted to a certain degree in a lifespan, some more than others. That is why taking care of your mental well-being and reducing the stigma around mental health is so critical.

Taking care of our mental health, just like we would take care of our physical health, can make a huge difference in our lives. Prioritizing our mental well-being helps us cope with the stresses of life, have healthy relationships, work productively, have a positive self-image and make meaningful contributions to our community. By taking some time out of your day to journal, meditate, connect with a friend or family member, take a walk, or eat without distractions, you are prioritizing your mental well-being. Integrating self-compassion into our routine can strengthen the practices. With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and support we’d give to a loved one.

We have partnered with Atlanta Center for Self-Compassion to create a free course on Mindful Self Compassion. This course is catered to teens, with guidance from adults, but adults will also benefit from it. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the benefits of self-compassion and implement it into your daily life. Register here for the course.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, Cobb Collaborative has a handful of events in the community, focused on mental health awareness and mental well-being. We have a Mindful Strides Community Wellness Walk on May 16th at 10:30am, starting at the Mavel Rd Trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail.

We are also presenting a summer edition of “Mental Health Matters” at the South Cobb Library on May 29th . Check out all of our events on our Events Calendar>>

Our Mind Your Mind Initiative exists to raise awareness, promote resiliency and reduce stigma around mental health. We have several resources on our Mind Your Mind webpage. There are resources for any age, race, culture, and gender. We also offer training opportunities such as the Community Resiliency Model which empowers you to use wellness skills to increase your resiliency and take care of your mental well-being. Learn more on our training webpage. We have a community offering of the CRM Training on June 3rd ; details on our events calendar.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the 988 suicide and crisis line. Please reach out for professional mental health help.

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