Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is tied into every TV show, movie, and book for years now, especially since the pandemic, it has been made an important point and stressor for teenagers to focus on this priority. Since 1949, America has celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month every May. The creation of this awareness month was driven by Clifford W. Beers, of Mental Health America. We often see Mental Health Awareness Month as an excuse to release a new awareness line at Target or follow a featured program on television, but what is really the purpose behind Mental Health Awareness month? What we do know is that Mental Health Awareness Month was originally created to spread knowledge about mental health and help inform people on what they can do if their mental health is of concern to them. 

San Marcos school counselor Cori Simpkins further explained, “The Counseling Department has observed over the past several years a major increase in the amount of students coming to us for help regarding mental health and/or reporting others who may need assistance.  I feel that the schools across our District have started to truly recognize the need to both acknowledge and educate both students and staff alike with all aspects of mental wellness. There is still more work to be done and in a society that is ever changing and unpredictable, we need to stay on top of supporting our students with the resources that we have.” There are a variety of mental health resources here on campus as well such as our amazing counselors who are ready to help at all times. Please feel comfortable seeking help from any trusted individual on campus. 

Every year Mental Health Awareness Month Features a new goal. In 2021 for example, #Tools2Thrive was the theme which focused on providing simple tools anyone can use in order to improve their mental health. As of 2023, according to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) 18.1% of Americans are suffering from mental health struggles and the dedication of the month of May to this cause is hoping to raise awareness to this reality and teach the public how to approach this with the best care. 

Local therapist Danielle Spain said, “Mental Health Awareness has saved many from becoming the victims of themselves and being trapped by their own thoughts. It’s imperative that we care enough to teach people how to help yourself get mentally unstuck,” when asked why mental health awareness has been of benefit to the public. 

Mental Health Awareness Month is also aimed at raising suicide awareness and using mental health awareness as a tool to lower suicide rates. It has been proven that mental health care can make individuals feel significantly better and prevent suicide attempts. Many organizations have joined in spreading awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month, like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Mental Health America.    

2023’s campaign is run with the slogan, “More Than Enough,” which stands to inspire a message of hope and inclusion. Spreading the message that those struggling with mental health are more than enough this month is a beautiful and important thing for each of us to commit ourselves to. Anyone who has ever struggled with mental health is extremely aware of the effects one simple comment could make for someone, so please be that person. Be the one that goes out of their way to make others feel good, because it will not just feel good to them; it will make you feel good too. There are plenty of resources out there providing a safe environment to get help for your mental health such as Mental Health Matters, SAMHSA’S, and the crisis line; 1-(888)-868-1649.