Did you know that this is Mental Health Awareness Week? You did? Wow- that’s terrific! Let me guess, you already have some sort of preexisting connection to the mental health community, right? And if you weren’t aware that this is Awareness week I can’t blame you. Maybe you thought it was last month. But that was Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week. See, looking back, January was Mental Wellness Month. April was actually both Alcohol and Stress Awareness Month. In May (Mental Health Month) we marked two special weeks, National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week and National Prevention Week by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations. June has National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Day while July was National Minority Mental Health Month. August is pretty quiet, and I already mentioned Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week, but September as a whole is National Recovery Month. Later this week, on October 10th, we can all mark World Mental Health Day (that is if we’re all recovered from National Depression Screening Day on the 8th). November has Mental Health Wellness Week (which is apparently different from Mental Health Wellness Month, which was back in January). And to think some people argue that the mental health advocacy community is too fractured.
I raise this not to denigrate the hard work of well intentioned volunteers and the organizations they represent, but to underline just how much work we have ahead of us to get everyone on the same page and promoting a consistent message to the public.
(By the way, if you want a more comprehensive calendar of these events, I found this all at Psychology Today’s site: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/teen-angst/201501/2015-awareness-calendar)