May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Author: Aimee Copp-Hasty

Many people are impacted by a mental illness. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.

Overcoming the stigma behind mental illness tarts with us. Here are a few ways to stop the stigma:

  • Educate yourself on mental illness
  • Do not support media or TV shows that use stigmatizing language and behaviors portraying people with a mental health condition in an aggressive or violent way.
  • Stop using stigmatizing language such as “crazy” or “bipolar”.
  • Know that recovery is possible.

There are other opportunities during the month of May to start supporting those with a mental illness.

  1. Learn how to check-in. It is important to always reach out to family members or loved ones.
  2. Don’t assume you know what the person needs. Listen carefully to what the person is sharing with you.
  3. Encourage treatment. Offer to help them reach out to professional help. If they are struggling to go, offer to accompany them to their first appointment.
  4. Continue to provide emotional support even after they seek professional help.

Bringing awareness to mental health this May starts with us by stopping the stigma, supporting those with a mental illness, and encouraging professional help. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental illness, you are not alone. Take the time to reach out and seek professional help.

Valeo’s Crisis Center is located at 400 Oakley Avenue. Valeo’s Crisis Center never closes, it is a walk-in emergency clinic with no appointment necessary. Valeo’s 24-Hour Crisis Line is 785-234-3300