Did you know that May brings awareness to both Mental Health and Trauma concerns? If you know anyone who is suffering from Mental Health or any form of trauma it is time that you become aware of the symptoms and do your part to help them find the support, they may need to help them cope or get through this tough moment in their lives with assistance rather than alone.
In the United States, it is no longer taboo to suffer from mental health or trauma issues and be identified as weird or unstable. Now, more people than ever are taking these illnesses seriously. They are out and about having open dialogues and willing to do what they can to help those they care about or even themselves maintain a healthy lifestyle. People are seeking ways to address what is happening and discovering ways to cope with what they or their loved ones are experiencing.
What is Mental Health Awareness?
Mental health is an important component of optimal health and well-being. Mental illnesses, on the other hand, are common and can affect people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. Mental health conditions can range from mild to severe and may impact an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These conditions may have significant consequences on an individual's relationships, health, work, and daily functions if not addressed.
During this Mental Health Awareness Month, organizations and individuals are encouraged to learn about mental health, share their experiences and stories, and promote the importance of seeking professional help and treatment. This includes educating the public about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, providing resources and support for those struggling with mental health issues, and advocating for policies and programs that support mental health.
It is imperative to recognize that mental health care is necessary and that treatment can be effective in the solution-providing process. Many treatment options are available for those with mental health issues; such as therapy, breath work, meditation, medication, self-care strategies, etc. Seeking help for mental health concerns is a sign of strength and resilience and can lead to improved quality of life and overall well-being.
What is Trauma Awareness?
On the other hand, trauma can refer to an array of experiences that cause physical, emotional, or psychological distress, including abuse, neglect, natural disasters, accidents, and acts of violence. Trauma can have long-lasting effects on an individual's mental and physical health, relationships, and overall well-being.
During Trauma Awareness Month, organizations and individuals are encouraged to learn about trauma-informed care and how to support those who have experienced trauma. This includes understanding the signs and symptoms of trauma, creating safe and supportive environments, and providing access to trauma-focused therapies and treatments.
Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognizes the prevalence of trauma and the impact it has on individuals, work-life balance, families, and communities. It involves understanding the underlying causes of behaviors and symptoms, as well as responding in a manner that is supportive, empowering, and respectful of individuals' autonomy and choices. This is a time to be mindful and nonjudgmental of those who may be going through some form of trauma.
This Mental Health & Trauma Awareness Month, take a moment to seek out opportunities to raise awareness about issues people may be encountering or suffering with. So many people are having a hard time coping with everyday stressors, but if we are unable to identify the signs, we won't know that they may need assistance. Being aware of people's situations offers the ability to empathize with those that need support. People can walk in their shoes and find ways to take some of the load off those who may be stressed, if not just for a few moments. When people are aware, they can do something about things and unleash power they may not know they had. This month, please take it upon yourself to share what you know and have learned. In addition, be on the lookout for signs that someone may be going through something and offer them a listening ear or have them call a professional for guidance or help.
If you are reading this and feel you are suffering from a mental health problem or some form of trauma, please reach out for help using the numbers below. Visit their websites. You do not have to go through life's adversities alone.
Phone Numbers to Call/Text for Help
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
24-hour, toll-free, confidential support for people in distress. Prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Call or text 988.
The Trevor Project
As one of the leading nonprofits focused on advocacy and outreach to LGBT+ people, the Trevor Project is a great resource for those experiencing bullying or feeling distress over their gender and/or sexual identity. Call its 24/7 crisis line at1-866-488-7386 or visit the website at thetrevorproject.org to learn about other crisis counseling options.
Transgender, nonbinary and other gender nonconforming individuals can find crisis counseling and other help through the TransLifeline. Residents of the USA can call 1-877-565-8860, while those in Canada can call 1-877-330-6366. Both hotlines are available 24/7 and can handle a range of different crisis and distress scenarios.
National Drug Helpline
People struggling with substance abuse and addiction can call the National Drug Helpline (1-844-289-0879) for treatment and recovery information. Whether you’re curious or in crisis, this is a great resource for both drug and alcohol issues.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a confidential helpline that you can call 24/7 for information on treatment and support. The hotline (1-800-622-4357) is suitable for concerned loved ones and individuals in distress, but it’s not a crisis counseling service.
1-800-273-8255. Text a message to 838255. Operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, these services aid veterans and their families who may be in crisis by connecting them with VA responders.