Mental Health Awareness Month | Biography
Each year, Mental Health America highlights a particular theme for its celebration. The organization has chosen the ‘Back to Basics’ theme for 2022 with the goal of providing “foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.”
May is marked as Mental Health Awareness Month. It has been observed in the United States for more than 70 years.
What is Mental Health Awareness Month? When is it celebrated?
Mental Health Awareness Month is the celebration of mental health. It is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. Even though mental health is equally important as physical health, most people still hesitate to speak about their mental illness and seek help due to the fear of being judged. Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce such stigma surrounding mental illness and its treatment. It is celebrated throughout May every year in the United States, and it has been observed since 1949.
History of Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month was started by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene). The committee was formed by Clifford Whittingham Beers, who was born in 1876 in Connecticut as one of five children of his parents. All his family members had mental illness and psychological distress. They had to spend time at mental institutions, where he found out notoriety of mental health sectors for malpractice, maltreatment, and massive prejudice.
Beers’ experience during his hospital admittance led him to pen a bestselling book titled ‘A Mind That Found Itself.’ In 1909, Beers founded the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (which was later renamed the National Mental Health Association before changing to its current name) with the support of medical professionals. The committee’s purpose was to find ways to ensure the availability of the right care to mental health patients. It also wanted the patients to not feel alone in their fight against mental illness.
Later, Mental Health America began celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month. It was observed for the first time in the United States in 1949, and it is still celebrated.
Each year, Mental Health America highlights a particular theme for its celebration. The organization has chosen the ‘Back to Basics’ theme for 2022 with the goal of providing “foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.” Some of the themes of recent years include ‘Tools2Thrive’ (2020, 2021) and ‘4Mind4Body’ (2018, 2019).
Each year, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other similar organizations host awareness activities utilizing media, local events, and screenings.
Which color represents Mental Health Awareness Month?
The green ribbon represents Mental Health Awareness Month.
Is October Mental Health Awareness Month?
While Mental Health Awareness Month is primarily celebrated in the United States in the month of May, World Mental Health Day is celebrated internationally on 10 October every year. World Mental Health Day was first observed by the World Federation For Mental Health in 1992, and it aims to increase awareness about mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
Other Mental Health Awareness Months
While May is observed as the Mental Health Awareness Month, June is celebrated as Men's Mental Health Awareness Month, and July is observed as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.