Mental Health Awareness Month
Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States. Originally started by the Mental Health America organization, Mental Health Awareness Month is a national movement designed to help increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing.
Each May, America’s National Council and their 3,100+ members take part in Mental Health Awareness Month, a national movement to aid increased awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing. Although observed throughout May, it is a yearly effort to fight stigma, educate the public, provide support and be advocates for policies that support people with substance abuse and mental health challenges. Working tirelessly to spread the word through awareness, support, and advocacy.
Mental Health Statistics
Just to point out a few facts and figures about mental health and substance issues in America:
• 40.3 million people aged 12 or over had a substance use disorder in 2020.
• Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
• 1 in 6 adolescents (aged 12-17) in the U.S. experienced a major depressive episode in 2020. (Mental Health Awareness Month website)
• In 2021, more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health.
• In 2021, more than 1 in 5 (22%) students seriously considered attempting suicide and 1 in 10 (10%) attempted suicide. Mental Health | DASH | CDC
‘Five children in a classroom of 30 are likely to have a mental health problem’.
It’s a scary thought to think that five children in a class of thirty are likely to have mental health problems. And that’s why collectively, we need to make a difference.
Supporting Children's Wellbeing
It is imperative that children’s mental health is taken seriously and supported accordingly. School districts and how they handle school based mental health services can vary. Some districts will hire school-based therapists or social workers who can provide access to early identification of mental health challenges, prevention programming and treatment options. Some districts also partner with community mental health organizations and agencies to develop an integrated and comprehensive program of support. These programs enable services to develop evidence-based programs which provide positive school climates and therefore promote student skills in how to handle bullying and conflicts, solve any occurring problems and developing healthy peer relationships.
Implementing school-based Mental Health Services enables development for early intervention, treatment programs, student and family support and resource access, a referral process, and the ability to develop a school culture where teachers and other student support staff are trained to recognize the early signs of mental health issues within their students.
Mental Health Support
If you would like more information on how to support students’ mental health within school here are a few links, we think could be useful: