May 2019 is Mental Health Awareness Month (also referred to as “Mental Health Month”), and has been observed in the United States every May in the since 1949, making this the 70th year of observing this important month.
The observation of Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the U.S. by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). During the month of May, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct several activities that are based on a different theme each year. This campaign reaches millions of people through the news media, local events, and screenings.
In 2019, Mental Health America is expanding upon last year’s theme of #4Mind4Body and taking it to the next level, exploring the topics of animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as ways to boost mental health and general wellness.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health challenges, and chronic physical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with physical and mental health challenges, facing both can be daunting — but critically important in achieving overall wellness.
There are things you can do that may help. Finding a reason to laugh, going for a walk with a friend, meditating, playing with a pet, or working from home once a week can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally healthy.
The company of animals — whether as pets or service animals — can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to recover from illnesses. A pet can be a source of comfort and can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
And whether you go to church, meditate daily, or simply find time to enjoy that cup of tea each morning while checking in with yourself — it can be important to connect with your spiritual side to find that mind-body connection.
Interim Inc. wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. Finding the balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, physical health and mental health, can help you on the path towards focusing both #4Mind4Body.
For more information, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.
If you are dealing with mental health challenges and need a welcoming place, please visit our OMNI Resource Center at 339 Pajaro Street in Salinas or call them at 831.800.4530 x400.