Why is Mental Health Relevant: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Alyson Chan, Writer/Social Media

The fifth month of every year is known as Mental Health Awareness Month. According to Youth.gov, it was established in 1949 by Mental Health America to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. May is a special month that raises awareness for those who struggle with anxiety, stress, depression, and trauma. As stated in an article by GoodRX Health, “An estimated 53 million people in the United States live with a mental illness, which is about 21% of the adult population. Included in that is almost 6% of adults who experience serious mental illness. About 17% of youth ages 6 to 17 years old experience mental health issues.”

Photo from Texas Public Radio

Many people experience their mental health in their own way. It is a constant inner battle between yourself and not everyone will understand it, nor will relate the same way. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is defined as a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is not always easy to work through your daily life responsibilities and expects to have everything completed in time or have it done perfectly. We likely tell ourselves that “we can’t do this” or “can’t do that.” The thing is, it is okay to feel that way. Our mental health is what guides us to find our strength and grow out of our shells. According to TexasCasa.org, one of their staff members and community engagement specialist, Benita Pekkattil, stated, “Mental health means quality of life to me. When we haven’t addressed past trauma, we might tend to live an empty life filled with pain and anger. Years pass by and there seems to be no meaning or purpose. True living starts when we address our trauma, learn from it and work on healing. Our lives become fulfilling, purposeful and beautiful.”

Photo from Lifespan.org

As humans, we are meant to deal with continuous obstacles that enter our lives. It is our job to figure out how to handle them. The person to believe in the most is yourself. There is never a time limit to getting yourself in a better state of mind. The purpose of mental health awareness month is to acknowledge those who experience mental illness, normalize being open about it, and educate the public.  Take a look into these things this month to better yourself and support Mental Health Awareness Month.