Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. It includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being; affects how we think, feel, and act; and, also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in American's lives, and to the celebrate recovery from mental illness.
America’s counties are on the front line for mental health promotion and service delivery. Counties serve as the nation’s safety net for residents in need, first responders, and operator of crisis lines, public hospitals and detention centers. Counties are integral to any local, state or national level efforts to strengthen the mental health system because of the various touchpoints counties have among residents seeking care.
This May, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) are encouraging elected and appointed county officials to join them in recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month to highlight the county role in behavioral health. Take this opportunity to raise awareness, educate your local communities about mental health conditions and the importance of prevention and early intervention, reduce the stigma that surrounds these conditions and encourage screening.
Earlier this year, NACo launched a Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing to address the ever-growing mental health crisis. During Mental Health Awareness Month, NACo will release research on essential county perspectives on high-quality, accessible mental health services.
Read more at the links below:
Mental Health Awareness Month: County Participation Toolkit (NACo)
Mental Health America: Take Some Time to Look Around, Look Within (including MHA Month Toolkit)
American Psychiatric Association: Stigma, Prejudice & Discrimination Against People with Mental Illness