top of page

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month began in the United States in 1949. It was developed to provide education around mental health illness and ways we can support each other. This year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is launching the More Than Enough campaign. If you'd like to learn more about this campaign, visit their site. If you want in-depth information about mental health, feel free to visit other locations on their site. I previously worked within the organization and they provide incredible support for individuals with mental illness and their families.

For this first post of May, I decided to reach out to family and friends to discuss why Mental Health Awareness month is important. Here are some of the answers from people who aren't therapists:

Why is mental health awareness important?

  • Everyone experiences low points

  • Too many people think they are alone in how they feel

  • People who don’t get it, don’t get it

  • It’s just as important as physical health

  • Understanding mental health is another reason to be kind to each other

  • It can help to make struggles better by knowing where they stem from

  • It affects us all!

  • Important to recognize that other people face different battles than you

  • Society awards appearing put together so it’s important to check in

  • It allows people to understand each other better

I also asked some therapists the same questions! Here is what they said:

  • Because mental health is health

  • It helps to stop the stigma

  • It normalizes the experiences people go through

  • Mental health is social and part of our relationships

  • General awareness is necessary; you don't need to be an expert to understand

  • People must learn how to accept parts of themselves

  • If we know more about what people are going through, we can treat them

  • We develop more empathy and compassion when we know more

How do you know if your mental health is struggling?

  • Sleeping too much

  • Running late to work

  • More distracted

  • Having nightmares

  • Feeling "out of sorts"

  • Difficulty getting out of bed

  • Staying up late at night

  • Difficulty doing household chores, like cooking for yourself

  • Saying no to social engagements

  • Becoming irritable with support system

Therapist answers:

  • Irritable with others

  • Skipping exercise

  • Overeating

  • Avoiding responsibilities

  • Feeling negative and/or pessimistic

  • Difficulty being empathetic

  • Feeling dismissive or "over it"

  • Shorter tolerance with others

  • Short-tempered

  • Eating inconsistently

What do you wish more people understood about mental health?

  • You don't have to announce your diagnosis for it to be valid

  • It is yours to share whenever you feel comfortable and ready

  • It's not about being weak or strong - it is what it is!

  • You are not "overreacting" or "making it up" or failing

  • It is not shameful

  • There is a world of issues that can stem from mental health

  • It exists

  • It looks different on everyone - symptoms manifest differently in everyone

  • There are good days and really bad days

  • It is so common

  • It affects everyone in our lives

Therapist answers:

  • It's not a choice - its the same as getting ill or breaking a bone

  • It isn't all in your head

  • There is support and help for you

  • It is not shameful

  • Mental health does not define who you are - it is part of an incredible whole

  • You are way less alone that you think you are

  • Don't apologize for what your mind is doing

  • Therapists love to help - we are always ready when you are

These responses brought me genuine joy. It was amazing to read the amount of respect and acceptance that people showed. I also wanted you to read responses from other therapists to show that we all want what is best for our clients.

So, this Mental Health Awareness Month, as yourself the same questions. And then more - what can I do to support others? How can I talk to others about how I'm feeling? Who needs me to be more open and vulnerable?

When you are ready to seek services, or you have a child who needs support, reach out to me. I look forward to working through anything you have to bring with you.

I (Gillian) am the owner of Tavernier Therapy Group. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Provider and a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider. I work with teenagers who struggle to connect with their parents and am currently accepting clients! Take a look around my website and get to know me. I look forward to hearing from you!


bottom of page