While it is important to get past the stigma of mental health challenges, we need to do more.
That’s why Mental Health Action Day, marked on May 19, seeks to to shift the focus from mental health awareness to mental health action. The goal of the day is to “empower people to take their first steps towards mental health action—whether for themselves, for their loved ones or to advocate for systemic changes, because mental health is health,” according to a press release.
Convened for the first time last year by MTV Entertainment Group, Mental Health Action Day is supported this year by 1,400 corporations, organizations and cultural influencers.
“Together, we spread the message that we can take actions to improve our mental health just like our physical health far and wide, reaching over a billion views and public engagements, and we’re only just getting started!” the organizers said.
A range of efforts are aimed at continuing the national conversation around mental health, which is included as the first priority in the White House’s new unity agenda initiative.
The importance of connection
In response to the isolation that everyone has had to struggle with during the pandemic, this year’s Mental Health Action Day focuses on the idea of “connection,” and the need to addreess loneliness.
According to a scientific brief provided by the WHO in March, the global incidence of anxiety and depression jumped by a staggering 25% in the first year of the COVID-19 epidemic. Another recent CDC analysis found that lockdowns, remote schooling, isolation, and other challenges induced by COVID-19 had a significant impact on the mental health of the teenage population.
“The last two years have brought to light mental health challenges and made it easier to talk about them—but there is still so much work to do to help people take actions to address them,” Erika Soto Lamb, Vice President of Social Impact Strategy at MTV Entertainment Group told Bloomberg. “That’s why the second Mental Health Action Day will focus on connection by providing leaders with resources to encourage and empower people to take action and those struggling with mental health and isolation with the tools they need to improve their emotional wellbeing.”
Mental Health month
Mental Health Action Day is part of Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place during May.
Throughout the month, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the organizers of Mental Health Awareness Month, continue their fight against the stigma of mental illness, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. For 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI will amplify the message of “Together for Mental Health.”