Mental health has been receiving a lot of attention for the past few weeks in every health care related website on the internet. While this is mostly due to the large influx of mental health related tragedies, a large increase in the United States suicide rate, and a plea to the government for increase funding – there is another reason why mental health is being so heavily reported on for the month of May. May is mental health awareness month and it has gone mostly unnoticed for years. Yes, the event does receive a lot of support and has a lot of participants, but in terms of media coverage Mental Health Awareness month has gone largely unnoticed until this year.
Mental Health Awareness month is hosted by NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, which is an organization dedicated to providing resources and assistance to those who suffer from mental illness. NAMI describes its founding as, “a small group of families that gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 and has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health.” Throughout the years NAMI has grown into an association that has garnered a lot of local affiliates, state organizations, and volunteers who raise awareness and provide support and education on mental health.
Because mental health disorders affect every one in five Americans, NAMI has chosen the month of May in order to put together a lot of its resources in one collective effort in order to raise awareness. Just how breast cancer awareness month is in October, NAMI has chosen May in order to host events like: marathon runs, fundraisers, and speeches. The over arching goal of the month is to end the social stigma against mental health disorders, and to make people be more considerate to those who suffer from a mental illness.