Mental Health Awareness Month: Why Kindness Is Critical
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and although it has been observed in the United States since 1949, it often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
If you’re one of the many who is surprised to learn about this important month, we’re happy to inform you about it! Together, we all can play a part in raising awareness and fighting stigma associated with mental health conditions. And, as always, kindness can go a long way in making our world a better place.
What Is Mental Health Awareness Month?
It’s estimated that one in five adults in the U.S. live with mental illness. Mental health conditions range in type and severity, and unfortunately, there’s often a stigma that comes with a diagnosis. Three of the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions include anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although there are many more.
Part of the reason Mental Health Awareness Month is so important is to address the fact that approximately 50% of individuals with mental illness never get the care they need. This is partly because the United States has a shortage of healthcare providers who specialize in mental health conditions, but it’s also not uncommon for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about reaching out for help. This year, the National Institute of Mental Health is launching the #MoreThanEnough campaign as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. This campaign is all about embracing our intrinsic value, just as we are–so feel free to explore this hashtag and share your own thoughts. You never know who your words might reach!
How Kindness Can Change Lives
Whether you experience mental illness or simply empathize with those who do, you know that a little kindness can go a long way. When someone is in the depths of depression or struggling with intrusive thoughts, a random act of kindness can be a much-needed comfort or a glimmer of hope. A word of encouragement may even be the catalyst someone needs to seek help. The amazing thing about kindness is that it benefits all of us–both the giver and the recipient (you can check out the science behind it here).
National Mental Health Awareness Month serves an important purpose that we all can participate in. Through this awareness event, we can take steps toward erasing the stigma and helping loved ones, friends, and even complete strangers feel supported and valued. This month and beyond, we encourage you to make it your mission to be kind. It really does make a difference.
Thank you so much for RAK. I am soo excited about this. I didn't even realise that RAK was my way of living and all my life doing these little acts kept me together and going in the face of life full of challenges from early on. I discovered kindness again today through book 'Be Kind' by Naomi Shulman and it took me to RAK website. I have signed up to the the RAKTIVIST and now want to take RAK movement as purpose of my life towards myself, in my home, for my family and friends, my neighbourhood, local communities. This is the first step today and I am so excited how this journey would unfold for me. Kudos to Kindness - a magic wand to heal, inspire and shine through 'I'llness to 'We'llness. Yay!