May 2022 is Mental Health Month with the Theme ‘Back to Basics’
The past year has been challenging, to say the least. From the ongoing pandemic to the continuing injustices of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of systemic oppression, it can be hard to get through the day without something in the news cycle feeling really difficult. And of course, what some people read about in the news, other people experience in real life.
May is Mental Health Month. Since 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates across the country have observed May as Mental Health Month by reaching out to millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. MHA invites other organizations to join them in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about.
Back To Basics: Practical Mental Health Information
Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people are talking about mental health. An increasing number of folks are starting to see it for what it is: one important component of your overall health and well-being, just like your physical health. But mental health conditions, resources, and conversations can still feel complicated and out of reach.
Are there common warning signs for mental health conditions or crises? Specific factors that can lead to mental health conditions or even crises? What resources are out there — and how do I know if they’re right for me?
Many people are learning about mental health topics for the first time. Having a widespread understanding of the topic can help you be more informed if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition or crisis. Around half of people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life, so everyone should know what to look out for.
Everyone should have the support needed to thrive. Communities that have been historically and presently oppressed face a deeper mental health burden because of the added impact of trauma, oppression, and harm.
Visit mhanational.org for more information on the Back to Basics awareness campaign.
What is Interim doing for Mental Health Month in 2022?
May 11, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM: Interim is hosting an online webinar featuring Frank Warren, founder of the PostSecrets project.
Warren is a speaker for Active Minds, the nation’s premier nonprofit supporting young adult mental health awareness. Warren introduced the world to a collection of highly personal and artfully decorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world.
What started as a community mail art project exploded in popularity; since PostSecret’s inception in 2004, Warren has received over 1 million anonymous secrets on homemade postcards.
PostSecret’s website is the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world and has won seven Webby Awards for “Best Blog on the Internet.” With over 2,500,000 views, his TED talk is one of the most-watched in the popular series.
Interim also recorded it’s FIRST EVER Podcast. Barbara Mitchell, Executive Director, interviewed Frank Warren about his Post Secret project.
May 20, 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM:
Mental Health Service Recognition Awards and Annual Picnic:
Each May, Interim, Inc. holds a Mental Health Service Recognition event for all volunteers who donate their time and talents to help run our programs. It is a special event where service to others during the year is elevated and acknowledged. The event is an opportunity to acknowledge the service of all consumers and others who have volunteered their time to the mental health community and the agency during the year with certificates and awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum level). This year, the event is being held in combination with our annual consumer picnic. The theme for this year’s event is “Fun in the Sun!”
During the event, several coveted awards are given out to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the mental health community.
The “Kristin Hart Memorial Award” is given to consumers who inspire leadership in others. Kristin Hart was a very special person at Interim. Recipients must demonstrate the same unconditionally giving spirit that she had in life. They must have inspired others, done something extraordinary to help others, or made a contribution toward the spirit of their community.
In recent years, the “Compassionate Service Honorarium” and the “Inspiring Hope Honorarium” awards were established by the family of Dr. David Soskin in his memory. Dr. Soskin was a deeply compassionate and gifted psychiatrist who genuinely cared for his patients. He served as the Medical Director of Monterey County Behavioral Health. Dr. Soskin was a passionate advocate for his clients who generously dedicated his time and energy to their care. He was a person with deep compassion for the neediest and most neglected members of our community and a mentor to clients and staff.
The Compassionate Service Honorarium is awarded to staff from Interim Inc. and the Monterey County Behavioral Health Bureau. It is awarded to those who exemplify Dr. Soskin’s kind and compassionate commitment to the community. Like Dr. Soskin, they are mentors to clients and staff and exemplify deep compassion to the neediest and most neglected clients we serve.
The Inspiring Hope Honoraria acknowledges the importance of people who have lived with mental illness and are working to give back by using their story of hope to inspire others.
They are awarded to individuals with lived experience who are working or volunteering to help others in their recovery journey. Individuals who are staff of Interim Inc. or Monterey County Behavioral Health with lived experience receive this award.
The Mental Health Service Recognition Awards event is partially supported by the Dorothy and Joe Messner Memorial Fund. The Fund can be used for activities for mental health consumers that promote “fun” and “recreation.”
Kontrena McPheter and Mario Ramirez, Mental Health Awareness Banquet, 2018