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  • Mental Health Awareness Month

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

    For those of us who are in the mental health field, we are hearing this statement seemingly everywhere. We at Supportive Engagement are happy to participate in this potentially life-changing conversation regarding what mental health awareness means to us as therapists. As we enter this month of May, we hope to spread awareness about mental health issues and help our communities open doors for any and all people in need of emotional support and mental health services. 

    While learning new data about mental health issues can be discouraging or saddening to read, it is important for us to sit with the realities of our struggles as a collective in order to gain the clarity we need to either take action to support others or to have the courage to speak up and seek support for ourselves. We, as human beings, are all at risk of being affected by mental illness. Mental health does not discriminate against age, race, or gender. Most recently, I’ve come across the following significant mental health facts:

    • One in five adults experiences mental illness each year. 
    • One in six youth aged six to seventeen experiences a mental health disorder each year. 
    • Two out of three of those with mental health challenges don’t seek help. 
    • Suicide is estimated to be the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and, more specifically, the second leading cause of death among people aged ten to forty. 

    As a licensed mental health counselor, I feel proud to be practicing at a time when the conversation about mental health is changing from stigmatized to normalized. What I feel most compelled to highlight here and bring awareness to is the fact that no individual living with the same mental health condition has exactly the same symptoms. In other words, mental health issues are sometimes invisible and can be extremely difficult to recognize or acknowledge in ourselves or others. For example, we can feel anxious and appear confident. We can feel depressed and still make jokes or laugh. We can be in a relationship and feel completely alone. We can be generous and yet feel worthless to others. We can have suicidal thoughts and show up to work looking fine. Unfortunately, we tend to compare ourselves to others, even in regards to our emotional distress and/or mental illnesses. Mental health being invisible can lead to silence, denial, avoidance, minimization, increased suffering, and an aversion to seeking the help and support we need when we need it most. Considering that mental illness is not easily visible to ourselves or others, I hope that we can practice more kindness and offer more compassion towards ourselves and others when it comes to our mental health needs.

    From us here at Supportive Engagement, it’s an honor to have a platform where we can advocate for mental wellness and effective treatment for mental health issues, both visible and invisible. Throughout the month of May and beyond, we invite you to join us in sharing resources for mental health services and mental wellness, in raising awareness about the struggles that so many of us feel alone in working through, and in normalizing the act of seeking emotional support and mental health services.

    Written by: Karla Moyse, LMHC, CCATP, TF-CBT Certified Therapist