May 1, 2024

Let’s Tear Down Barriers to Care.

It’s safe to say people have always experienced mental health challenges, from ongoing difficulties to acute mental health crises. Unfortunately, for too long, those challenges were ignored or downplayed.

There are many reasons for that, including that a person’s mental state is impossible to see and can be difficult to diagnose with the degree of precision of physical health problems. And because humans tend to fear what they don’t understand, people wrestling with behavioral health issues have historically been subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) encouraged to handle them in private and generally on their own — an approach that was always isolating and rarely effective.

Fortunately, the world is developing a more enlightened understanding of mental health and treating those affected by mental illness more compassionately.

A Critical Course Correction in 1949

To help raise awareness of mental health disorders and encourage open dialog about causes, symptoms, treatments, and resources, Mental Health America (formerly the National Association for Mental Health) declared May “Mental Health Awareness Month” in 1949.

Activities during the observance include:

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Educational events, like workshops, seminars, and conferences to provide information about mental health

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Community outreach, such as fundraisers, mental health fairs, etc.

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Social media campaigns to share stories and promote messages of support and hope for those affected by mental health disorders

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Advocacy efforts promoting legislation and policies that support mental health services and remove barriers to care

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Support group meetings for people experiencing mental illness and their loved ones

The common thread weaving through all these initiatives is this: Mental health challenges are common, treatable, and nothing to be ashamed of. We should praise and support people who seek help when they’re struggling!

Broadening the Definition of “Illness”

If you look for a definition of “illness” online today, you’ll likely find something like this from Merriam-Webster: “an unhealthy condition of body or mind.” Had you done a similar search years ago, the “or mind” part would likely have been absent.

The new definition correctly identifies mental health as a component of illness/wellness. You surely seek medical care if you develop serious physical health symptoms like a high fever. The same proactive approach should apply to mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, and others.

People increasingly understand that the arbitrary line once drawn between physical and mental health really doesn’t exist. Instead, like the definition of illness, perspectives have broadened to encompass a more integrated approach to health.

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Holistic Marketing for Organizations Focused on Comprehensive Health

At A-Train, we enthusiastically promote Mental Health Awareness Month because we understand the importance of openness about behavioral health problems. 

We also collaborate year-round with clients in the comprehensive healthcare space to spread awareness about the availability and effectiveness of treatments. From strategy and campaign management to branding, web design, and advertising, we ensure their outreach efforts are eye-catching, informative, and impactful.

Unwavering Commitment and an Optimistic Outlook

There’s still much work to do in opening hearts and minds about mental health challenges. However, when our team pauses to consider how far the world has come and the powerful forward momentum that’s developing, we can’t help but be upbeat about the future.

If you’re taking steps to #breakthestigma of mental illness, we’d love to hear from you and celebrate your positive contribution to this crucial cause!