The prevalence of mental health disorders in the United States and the persistent stigma that often prevents people from getting help are two reasons why mental health awareness is important. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of all Americans will have a mental health diagnosis at least once in their lifetime.
Unfortunately, even though mental health concerns are common, many people who struggle with mental illnesses suffer in silence, mistakenly believing that no one could understand what they’re going through or care enough to help.
What is Mental Health Awareness?
Mental health awareness is an effort to increase understanding of mental health disorders and encourage empathy for those with disorders. Government agencies, public and private companies, schools, community-based organizations, and others all have important roles in the effort to expand mental health awareness.
By replacing fear and mistrust with facts and compassion, our world can be more supportive of those with mental illnesses.
Why Mental Health Awareness is Important
Educating people on mental health disorders, the benefits of treatment, and the promise of recovery can help them gain an appreciation for why mental health awareness is important.
In previous centuries, it was not uncommon for people with mental illnesses to be exposed to dangerous treatment techniques, locked away in asylums, and otherwise mistreated. In addition, most people viewed mental illness as a profound character flaw or even a divine punishment.
Thankfully, society has progressed considerably since those dark times. But significant work remains to be done. Scientific advances and ongoing awareness campaigns have elevated the public discourse as it relates to mental health concerns. Still, many people continue to hold outdated views of mental illness and mental healthcare.
What Mental Health Disorders Need More Awareness?
Sadly, myths and other forms of misinformation exist about every type of mental health disorder like the following:
- Anxiety and depression: People who live with anxiety disorders or depression are not simply nervous or sad. They have legitimate and potentially debilitating mental health disorders that need professional attention.
- Bipolar disorder: People who have developed bipolar disorder are not merely demonstrating a lack of self-control. Their thoughts and behaviors are impacted by a complex mental health concern. However, their lives can improve when they receive proper care, which may involve both therapy and prescription medication.
- Substance use disorders (addiction): The millions of people who have become dependent upon alcohol or other drugs cannot easily escape addiction through willpower alone. They need and deserve comprehensive care and compassionate support to help them end their substance use and achieve long-term recovery.
To combat misinformation about anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, and other mental and behavioral health disorders, be sure you’re getting facts from reputable sources such as qualified healthcare providers, advocacy organizations, and trusted websites.
How Mental Health Awareness Can Break the Stigma
Mental health awareness efforts benefit all people – including those who develop the disorders and the people who care about them. No one should ever feel shame or guilt because they have a mental illness.
Breaking the stigma related to mental health disorders shifts the focus from blaming to helping. Mental illnesses affect people of all ages, genders, nationalities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status. Thus, no group of people is immune to mental illness. Therefore, no one should ever be made to feel that they brought their disorder on themselves or they “deserve” what they’re going through.
As stigma decreases, people will be more likely to discuss their experiences and seek the professional help they need.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Understanding why mental health awareness is important can happen in many ways, like through informal discussions and organized events. One of the highest-profile organized efforts is the annual observance of Mental Health Awareness Month.
The history of Mental Health Awareness Month dates to 1949 when the community-based nonprofit organization Mental Health America (MHA) partnered with the United States Junior Chamber (the Jaycees) to establish Mental Health Week. Today, organizations and communities across the country observe Mental Health Awareness Month every May.
Each year, MHA declares a theme for Mental Health Month. This year’s theme is “Back to the Basics.” According to the MHA website, this theme promotes “foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions,” with a focus on the mental and emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to Do if You’re Struggling with a Mental Health Disorder
If you have been struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or another mental health disorder, Ambrosia Treatment Center can help you start your journey toward wellness.
Our treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida, provides many time-tested therapeutic services at the inpatient and outpatient levels. Depending on each person’s needs and treatment goals, our treatment center in West Palm Beach may include services such as:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Educational lectures
- Art and music therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Marriage therapy
- Family weekends
People who have been struggling with a mental health disorder and co-occurring addiction may also take part in daily 12-step meetings. In addition, we have medication management, brain mapping, neurofeedback, acupuncture, yoga, and on-site medical care.
Get Help for Mental Health Disorders in West Palm Beach, FL
If you or someone you care about can benefit from personalized mental health treatment in a safe and welcoming environment, contact Ambrosia Treatment Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, today. Our team can answer your questions to help you make informed decisions for yourself or a loved one. Visit our admissions page to learn more.