May is Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month was created more than 50 years ago by Mental Health America to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for all. This year, we are using two themes in our outreach activities.
"Do More for 1 in 4" is a call to action to help the more than 54 million adult Americans who have a diagnosable mental health condition. We want everyone to know that while mental health and substance conditions are common, they are extremely treatable and individuals can go on to recover and lead full and productive lives.
One sad fact is that many people living with a mental health condition—as high as 50 percent—never seek or receive help due to stigma, lack of information, cost or lack of health insurance coverage. Many people may be reluctant to ask for help or don't know where to find it.
We need to change that. It's important that more people have access to treatment and services because there is a great deal of knowledge about how to identify and even prevent mental health conditions.
Our work to pass the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is changing things by expanding access to care. It ends decades of discrimination by requiring mental health and substance use coverage that is offered by a health plan to be on par with general medical coverage. Higher deductibles, steeper co-pays, visit limits and other restrictions are no longer allowed for mental health and substance use treatment.
The second theme, "Live Well! It's Essential for Your Potential," addresses the importance of mental wellness and creating balance in one's life. There are myriad challenges and events that can affect one's mental health. And there are many steps that a person can take so they are able to face difficult times with greater resiliency. Mental Health America's Live Your Life Well program (www.liveyourlifewell.org) offers ten tools based on extensive scientific evidence that can help respond to stress. It was designed to help increase the number of people who take action to protect their mental health so they can handle life's challenges, build resiliency and flourish.
To learn more about this year's themes and to access fact sheets branded for each theme, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/may. To purchase other materials and merchandise that can be used to promote Mental Health Month themed activities, visit our online store at https://secured.nmha.org/secure/store/. ::
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