Mental Health Awareness Month and the Power of Open Conversations

May is mental health awareness month in the US, and it’s the perfect time to be reminded that taking care of your health means more than reacting when a problem occurs. With stigma still surrounding mental health issues, mental health myths being spread around, and an abundance of unverified information about mental health on social […]

May is mental health awareness month in the US, and it’s the perfect time to be reminded that taking care of your health means more than reacting when a problem occurs. With stigma still surrounding mental health issues, mental health myths being spread around, and an abundance of unverified information about mental health on social media, it’s no wonder people still feel confusion and judgment. This can lead to avoidance and lack of help-seeking. People can feel lonelier and misunderstood.

This is exactly why Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. It’s there to remind us of the importance of caring for ourselves and our loved ones, giving and receiving support, and, more than anything, understanding and not judging. This is a critical time to challenge stigmas, share useful and reliable information, open conversation, and learn how to be there for those struggling with mental health.

The Importance of Creating a Safe Space 

Ever since it started being marked in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has aimed to create an open, safe, and accepting environment for those struggling with mental health issues to come forward, share their thoughts and emotions, and seek help. Sharing is known to improve treatment outcomes, which is why Mental Health Awareness Month has support from institutions and the public

People in a group therapy because May is mental health month
There is no better time than today to talk about mental health because May is mental health month.

Furthermore, Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a safe space for learning. By participating in it, mental healthcare institutions and organizations are able to educate people on how to recognize early signs of mental health issues and how to help someone in a mental health crisis. The information shared is reliable and supported by science, and knowledge is shared by experts in the mental health field.

May is mental health month thanks to Mental Health America, an NGO that initiated this campaign, which every year chooses a topic around which all activities and resources will revolve. This year, the topic is Where to Start, and it invites people to make that first move to their recovery. This year’s campaign aims to help you learn how modern life impacts mental health, act by building coping mechanisms to manage challenging situations, and advocate for improving mental health for yourself, your friends and family, and your community.

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The Importance of Challenging and Fighting Stigmas

One of the biggest challenges people dealing with mental health issues face is the stigmatization of their state. Not all mental health conditions are equally stigmatized, and we can thank primarily social media for destigmatizing certain conditions like depression and ADHD. Other conditions, like schizophrenia and substance abuse problems, are often misrepresented by the entertainment industry (e.g., in horror movies), additionally raising stigma about people suffering from them. 

A message to be kind as a reminder of mental health awareness month.
May is mental health awareness month, and it’s time to challenge and fight stigmas.

Stigma often leads to fear of judgment, resulting in people not seeking help and choosing not to speak of their problems. Mental Health Awareness Month fights this by bringing people together, sharing accurate information about mental health and mental health issues, and opening a dialog that overcomes stigma and barriers to talking about and dealing with mental health problems. 

There is still much to learn about how to overcome the stigma of mental illness, but starting this conversation is important for society and every struggling individual. It can point to often overlooked topics, such as mental health in the workplace. Open communication about one’s thoughts and feelings can contribute to recovery, acceptance, and integration into society after the rehabilitation program. It can also help society see similarities rather than differences and understand, empathize with, and accept people regardless of their struggles.

A woman looking defensive.
May is mental health month, but taking care of it should be a year-round effort.

The Importance of Open Communication

As already mentioned, communication is the key element for bringing people together and destigmatizing mental health conditions. Moreover, it’s an instrument directly impacting one’s recovery. Being able to discuss one’s thoughts, feelings, and needs openly not only supports seeking help but also keeps people motivated and engaged throughout therapy

Activities during the mental health awareness month create a platform for open communication. People start communicating to their friends and family that they are struggling, which is important in showing openness to seeking help internally and professionally. It can be the first step in recovering from substance abuse or learning to manage your mental health condition. Feeling support from the public during these open talks helps motivate them to stay in the rehabilitation process, open up to their therapists, and constantly work on their wellbeing. All this contributes to the overall success of any treatment program. 

On the other hand, as a friend, colleague, or family member, learning about proper ways to communicate with a struggling person can transform your relationship and equip you with resources and abilities to help others. Conversation is a powerful tool that serves patients and their loved ones. 

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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The Importance of Mental Health Culture

May is mental health awareness month, but speaking of mental health struggles, working on well-being, seeking help, and aiding those in need should be a year-round activity. The responsibility is on all of us, but particularly on healthcare facilities. It is our duty to encourage dialogue about mental health and support the development and fostering of a culture of openness and acceptance. 

We ought to use our platforms to share reliable information, useful resources, guides, and toolkits to educate the public. Our mission should be to create materials, share tips and useful insights, speak on the power of positive affirmations, point out signs of problems, offer evidence-based solutions, and continuously empower people. We need to be those initiating the change and supporting the omnipresence of mental health culture

A client and therapist talking about how May is mental health awareness month
May is mental health awareness month, but be sure to take care of yourself every month of the year.

We Level Up Lake Worth FL does exactly that. Our Florida mental health treatment center aims to support both those addressing mental health challenges and those looking to improve their life satisfaction and well-being. Moreover, we strive to share knowledge and expertise and advocate for a holistic approach that addresses the body, mind, and spirit equally.

Rather than discussing mental health only during the month of May, we create ongoing educational material available for anyone looking to learn more about mental health and mental health disorders. We also make ourselves available to answer any questions or doubts you may have. We are just one phone call away. 

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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health should be a priority, and we ought to take care of it every day of the week. Still, a whole month reminding us of its importance is a welcomed practice. Mental Health Awareness Month, with its activities, promotions, and open conversations, is there to highlight the impact the community can have on one’s recovery and life satisfaction. 

This mental health awareness campaign aims to encourage people to seek help and support in their environment by fighting stigma, opening conversations, and bringing people together. More than ever, this year’s topic promotes taking that first step, whether it is learning about stress management or what sort of professional help one needs. 

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An important part of every Mental Health Awareness Month is the invitation to have open communication on mental health and mental health issues. This not only destigmatizes mental health problems but also creates a sense of safety and acceptance, taking out fear and sense of being judged, ultimately leading people struggling with issues to seek help and dedicate themselves more strongly to the treatment process.

Healthcare facilities can aid this process by joining the campaign, providing resources, and fostering a mental health culture. You can also contribute by opening conversations about mental health in your social circles and sharing information with the people you think can benefit from them.

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Mental Health America. (n.d.). Mental Health Month. [online] Available at: