Mental Health Awareness Month
By Michelle Lorne, School Counselor
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In an effort to move towards curing stigma associated with mental health issues and to create a safe space for those who are struggling with their mental health to come forward, we must actively seek to increase our understanding of mental health. It is our collective responsibility to demonstrate compassion, dispel false ideas, and encourage others to seek the help and treatment they need.
As counselors we are often faced with stories from students that are filled with fear, shame, and confusion as they grapple with mental health issues. They do not understand what is happening within them, are frustrated with others who assume they can just “fix it,” and are afraid of judgement that may come from those who surround them. While we wish that no one had to endure the feelings that come with stigma, we feel privileged to provide assistance in navigating a multifaceted approach to acceptance, healing, and growth.
Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org) approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental health condition at some point during their life. On average, intervention take place 8-10 years after the onset of symptoms, with current views towards mental health being a factor in the delay to seek help.
To learn more about stigma, mental health conditions, and ways you can help please visit: https://www.nami.org/stigma
If you are like me, finding peace and enjoyment in the outdoors, please consider signing up for the upcoming NAMIWalks-Washington and #JoinTheMovement
What: A family friendly 5K walk to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for their mission to help individuals and families right here in Washington. Free to register.
Where: Marina Park, Kirkland
When: 8:00 AM, Saturday, June 8
Registration and additional information: https://www.namiwalks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=774