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Mental Health Awareness Month

MIA CANNIZZARO 

Editor-In-Chief

Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, named by the Mental Health America (MHA) organization (aka the National Association for Mental Health). The purpose of Mental Health Awareness month is to raise awareness for the many conditions, those who are affected by them, and to educate Americans on this topic. Additionally, it is a tool to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and how we can change the conversation about it. 

The scientific history of mental health dates all the way back to the early 1900’s following a story of a man named Clifford Beers. Fast forward to 1930, where Mental Health America assembled the First International Congress on mental hygiene in Washington D.C., which brought together more than 3,000 individuals from 41 countries. Soon after, in 1947, the The “National Mental Health Act,” passed as a result of Mental Health America’s advocacy. This later created the National Institute of Mental Health. Since then, Mental Health America has been partnering with other organizations around the world and media outlets to help spread the word and help many citizens through what can be a difficult process. 

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 18.1% of the population every year. Depression is another common mental illness and probably the most well-known. However, there are many other mental health illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to name a few. Some of these disorders are hereditary, meaning they can be passed down through multiple generations. Others are not and they can come to be through various factors such as stressful situations, financial problems, result of a death or divorce, or none of the above. No mental illness has the same impact on every person. 

“IDONTMIND” is a mental health campaign designed to motivate open and safe conversations about mental health while also providing resources for anyone who needs it. They also sell hats, hoodies, t-shirts and more to inspire more conversations about mental health.

In their “Ask a Therapist” section on their website, Dr. Lynn Lanni shared, “Choosing to prioritize your mental health is actually the most generous thing you can do for yourself and the people you love. You serve others best when you feel happy and healthy, and you can teach others to take care of themselves by example. Truly taking care of you is the best thing you can do for the highest good of all.”

This month (and every month) check in on yourself and your friends. Your well-being is just as important as others around you. Sharing your story will not only benefit you but also allows for others to feel more empowered and comfortable sharing their own stories as we all work towards normalizing conversations about mental health. It is important to educate yourself on this topic so you can better care for yourself and the ones you love! 

“One thing that I’m grateful for in my experience with WCC {Wellness Collection Club} is being able to come together and really bond with other people who have similar passions of raising awareness of the importance of mental health. The mental health of our students is very important especially coming out of the pandemic, so I hope we can further our work in educating more folks on it and really get more people the help they need,” said senior Kenzie Young who is an active member in San Marcos’s Wellness Collection Club.  Here at SM, there are many ways you can receive support on campus. You can talk to a trusted adult, teacher, or your counselor and they can guide you on the right path. Outside of school, you can go to a family member, friend, or any other trusted person in your life for support. There are also multiple mental health hotlines, non-profit organizations and other tools that can provide support. The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255 which is available 24/7. If you are struggling, do not be afraid to reach out!

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 Mia Cannizzaro

Editor-in-Chief  

Categories: archive, archived content