We know, it probably feels like December 45th, 2020, but let’s move forward. This is a new year and we’re ready to take it on with awareness one month at a time. Check out our checklist for mental health holidays in 2021, and don’t forget to update your calendar.
Between the global pandemic, holidays, to the estimated 10 million Americans suffering from seasonal affective disorder, winter can be a tumultuous time mentally and emotionally. January is a time to regroup, restore and cater to both your own mental wellness and bear an empathetic awareness for others.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is February 22nd- February 28th. Look to nationaleatingdisorders.org for Every Body Has a Seat at the Table. The organization will be raising awareness and challenging systematic biases through sharing stories and giving a voice to marginalized and underrepresented communities.
While findings are difficult to parse due to the stigma associated with self injury, studies across 40 countries approximate that 17% of all people will self harm during their lifetimes. Most prevalent in teens, and more specifically, teen girls, this condition is commonly accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. Monday, March 1st is for acceptance and shame-free support for those experiencing self-injurious behaviors. Don’t be afraid to seek help or help those who need it.
Life can be unpredictable, especially with the recent global lifestyle shift. Stress can start to grate on us mentally and physically if we don’t take time to decompress at the end of a long day. Whether you hit the ground running to boost those endorphins or remain on the couch in your sweatpants, your mind and body need time to heal from the stresses of everyday life.
It’s time to take a pause and renew your commitment to mental health and self awareness. May is a month dedicated to bringing those subjects to light, encouraging those suffering in silence to seek the help they need. This is also a time for loved ones to step up and support those who need it most. End the silence, reach out and help destigmatize mental health one connection at a time.
About eight million adults suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder during any given year, be it from sexual assault, physical trauma or trauma inflicted during combat situations. Commonly associated with war veterans, PTSD can be incredibly debilitating, causing depression, anxiety, hopelessness, flashbacks to the event and behavioral changes. Thanks to programs like the National Center for PTSD and the Wounded Warrior Project, we can help those in need!
Minority Mental Health Month was established in 2008 in an effort to spread awareness of mental health factors impacting people of color, immigrants and their families, LGBTQIA individuals, and other underrepresented groups that face unique struggles in regard to mental illness in the U.S. Let’s all do our part to improve access and care for mental health across all minorities!
As they say, it takes a village! From August 9th to 15th let’s honor the communities offering access to self-care resources. Empowering individuals to seek the support to aid a more well balanced and healthy lifestyle is a promise for a better tomorrow. Think of a way you can lead your community this year. Maybe gather loved ones to tune into an online meditation, yoga, or healthy cooking class. You can be at the influence needed for healthy change.
Sunday, September 5th to 11th, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. #BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope!
The theme for Health Literacy Month is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” It’s about taking action and finding ways to improve health communication. Health Literacy Heroes are individuals, teams or organizations that not only identify health literacy problems but also act to solve them. You can help by recognizing and cheering on those you consider as Health Literacy Heroes. Know your rights and know your health!
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day was established by the United States Congress to honor the loved ones of those who have lost life by suicide. Uniting an awareness for this day was a movement to aid in support and healing for those who have felt the effect of loss and grief. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states there is hope for connection and understanding through shared experience.
As 2020 was clear to depict, health begins with handwashing. Never has warm water, soap, with a 20-second scrub been deemed more heroic. This December 6th to 12th, wash, rinse, repeat with pride.