May means one thing on My Brain’s Not Broken – it’s time to talk about mental health awareness! May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States, which means it’s a time where there is added emphasis on how we talk about mental health in this country. And before I dive into that topic (which I’ll revisit later this month), I want to talk about the concept of mental health awareness. There’s a big misconception that the only people who have mental health are people who experience mental illness. And this month, I’m here to tell you that spreading mental health awareness is important because we ALL have mental health.
So, what does it mean to spread mental health awareness? It’s not always what you think. Conversations about mental health are not exclusively for people experiencing mental illness. They also don’t have to be had only during a mental health crisis. That’s why I talk about health and wellness so often on this blog – because mental health IS health! Anytime we talk about our health, mental health can (and should) be part of that discussion.
There is no wrong time to talk about your mental health. The fact is, our mental health is connected to every other aspect of our lives, much in the same way our health shows up throughout our daily lives. But if the only way we can spread awareness about mental health is from a reactive standpoint, it’s hard to break through that perception of mental health only being about people experiencing mental illness or a mental health crisis.
This means that people need to be proactive when talking about mental health. It means normalizing the fact that it’s important for each and every one of us to be open about our mental health – good and bad. We often hear people talking about mental health struggles in situations they’ve been dealing with for months, years, even decades. I don’t know if people understand the weight that can be lifted when you talk about something, when you bring it out in the open. And even if that issue is not “solved” right then and there, that the path to healing has already begun.
And that’s the last message I want to leave you with today. It’s important to spread awareness surrounding mental health not because it’s going to fix, solve, or cure someone who might be going through something. But to me, mental health awareness is a dressed-up way of saying that we’re all humans, we all have feelings, and those feelings are valid. And the more we talk about it, the better the possibility for growing, changing, and improving for the better.
Why do you think mental health awareness is important? Let me know in the comments!