May is Mental Health Month
"1 in 5 American adults and children
will experience a mental health condition
in their lifetime"
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
Each May, organizations and individuals across the United States, like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), work to promote awareness about mental health issues. NAMI's theme this year - "CureStigma" - is explained below:
"One in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Stigma is toxic to their mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it. ...But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Together we can #CureStigma." -NAMI website
Enriched Family's blog post this week is devoted to Mental Health awareness in light of Mental Health Month. In this post, we provide some suggestions for how to get involved, how to become more informed, and how to obtain mental health resources, as well as access informational and educational resources for children and tweens.
How to Get Involved?
Consider getting involved nationally by joining NAMI.
Local and National Mental Health Resources
If you or someone you love needs mental health resources and lives in the Austin area, check out the NAMI Austin Local Mental Health Resource Guide and the NAMI Austin list of local, low cost and sliding scale counseling resources, as well as NAMI Austin's website resource page.
For resources outside of the Austin area, check out NAMI's resource page or call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI, M-F, 10am to 6pm ET. You can also look into the resource information provided by NAMI Texas and Mental Health America.
Also explore Time.com's A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Mental Health Resources
To find help in a crisis, review this list of hotline resources.
If you or someone you love is in need of substance abuse resources, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
In addition, RehabCenter.Net provides an extensive listing of rehab centers by state and city, as well as informational resources about topics such as approaches to treatment and types of addiction.
Maryville University has a good page of mental health resources specifically for former servicemen and women. While the resources tend to focus on PTSD, there are also more general veteran mental health resources listed as well.
Informational and Educational Resources for Children and Tweens
To help promote awareness of mindfulness and tools for emotional well-being with your children, check out the free podcast, Peace Out. Each individual story lists a different recommended age range, but most stories are for kids between 5-12. These short, "mindfulness stories" guide children through visualization and/or breathing exercises. Most of these engaging, yet meditative, stories are less than 10-15 minutes long.
If your child(ren) struggle with managing stress and/or anxiety, I highly recommend GoZen!'s Programs to Manage Stress & Build Resilience for Kids. Through engaging animations, GoZen!'s research-based, subscription programs teach children informational tools and life skills to help them deal with anxiety/stress, build social and emotional learning skills, engage in mindfulness activities, and so on.
If you want a way to start a conversation with your tweens about mental health issues, check out Brightly's list of middle grade YA fiction books that tackle mental health and maybe read one of these books simultaneously with your child.
All the best to you and yours,