If you’re reading this blog right now, then you are probably on at least one mental health organization’s email list and have been receiving reminders that May is Mental Health Month.
Now, let’s step back. How great is this? A topic so many people avoid talking about, avoid thinking about, avoid caring about takes center stage this month. As a community of advocates, we have a platform to talk about all the ways in which people are able to preserve their mental health, seek help when they’re struggling, and advocate for changes in our mental health care system. Additionally, those of us who struggle, are in long-term recovery, are suicide attempt survivors, or are survivors of a loved one’s suicide are reminded that we’re not alone, we matter, and we can make a difference.
I asked some of our Student Advisory Committee members what Mental Health Month means to them, and this is what they had to say:
I think having a huge event like this is amazing. Having a month dedicated to a cause brings it attention and gets a conversation going. Personally, it has also opened up my eyes to showing I am not so alone in my mental health advocacy or my mental health struggles. I am incredibly thankful for SAC and the times I have been able to talk to people throughout the nation on what we all can do. It’s also very inspirational to hear what other people are doing in the name of mental health nationwide. – Nycole Fassbender, SAC President and member of Active Minds at Marquette University
National observation for Mental Health Month means letting everyone know that mental health is for everyone. There is no shame in seeking and asking for help. It serves as a reminder for us to continue to be there for our loved ones who are suffering with a mental illness and for ourselves to keep practicing self-care. Remember mental health is just as important as physical health! – Raquel Sosa, SAC member and member of Active Minds at East Stroudsburg University
What I think is great about Mental Health Awareness Month, and any other awareness week or month for that matter, is that there is a certain amount of power in having one agreed upon period of time in which, more than any other time of year, you can see advocates being motivated to get their message out there and share in common goals and share the work, and this not only increases visibility for a cause but also strengthens the community of advocates and people who care about the cause. – Russell Fascione, SAC Member and member of Active Minds at University of Maine