Friday, May 19, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Mental Health America

May is Mental Health Month. It started as a week and was first launched in 1949 by Mental Health America. Sounds like a perfect time to learn more about this organization. 

Founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers, Mental Health America (MHA) is “the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all.” Or, as they succinctly put it on their social media sites, “Mental Health America is dedicated to helping people live mentally healthier lives.”

MHA is headquartered in Virginia with over 200 affiliates around the country. Their work is focused in three main areas: 

Education and outreach. Mental health conditions affect one in five adults in the United States every year. MHA encourages conversations about mental health that are free from stigma while also providing comprehensive and accurate information about mental health. They have screening tools to help you asses whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, self-help tools to address your mental health, and specialized toolkits, like this one focused on students heading back to school.

Public policy. MHA designs federal and state policy recommendations that promote: prevention for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those who need it, and recovery as the goal. If you’d like to learn more you can read through their position statements.

Peer advocacy, supports and services. If you have the appropriate experience and training you can get certified as a peer specialist and work alongside healthcare teams. There are also peer support groups around the country you can join.

Once you’ve finished reading through all the resources MHA has on their website, take a moment to support their work. You can shop for merch, volunteer your time, donate your money and help raise awareness on your favorite social media platform. Follow Mental Health America on Facebook, on Twitter @MentalHealthAM, and on Instagram @mentalhealthamerica. #MentalHealthMonth 

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