Mental Health Awareness Month – May

Mental Health Awareness Month is observed in the United States of America every May since 1949. The awareness month was started by Mental Health America. Every year, they plan and execute activities to raise awareness of the importance of mental health among everybody.

mental health awareness month logo

Every year, they select a different theme, and this year’s theme is “Mental Health in an Unequal World”. This observance will take place from the 1st to the 31st of May this year.

What is Mental Health Awareness Month all About?

Welcome to mental health awareness month!

Mental health awareness month is a great way to raise mental health awareness and learn about mental disorders. Mental health conditions can affect anyone, but certain groups of people are more likely than others to suffer from mental illnesses, such as young women aged 18-25. It’s important to know how mental illness affects you so that you can help those who have been affected by mental disorders.

This article will tell you all about mental health awareness month and how it works.

The purpose of mental health awareness month is simple: to raise mental health literacy within the general population and reduce the stigma around mental illness. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand what mental illness really is; this results in fear and intolerance towards those who suffer from mental disorders.

mental health awareness ribbon

Keep reading to learn more about mental health awareness month, mental illnesses, and how you can help those affected by mental illness.

The goal of mental health awareness month is simple: reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and increasing mental health literacy within the general population. Many people still do not understand what mental illnesses are and continue to discriminate against those who suffer from mental disorders. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding results in fear and intolerance towards those with mental illness.

Types of Mental Illnesses

This month people have the chance to learn more about the citizens suffering from depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and how to live with these disorders. They also draw attention to suicide and what leads to it.

Mental health in the veterinary profession is a question that should not be avoided. Being a veterinary professional is exciting and challenging, but at the same time can be very difficult and stressful.

Several studies have shown that anxiety, stress, and depression are high among veterinary professionals.

Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Many people in the field suffer from something called “burnout” and “compassion fatigue”.

man suffering from burnout

Burnout

Burnout can be recognized as emotional exhaustion (constant tiredness and feeling overloaded), feeling frustrated regarding job-related activities (being cynical toward your colleagues and start being distant), and reduced performance (difficulty to concentrate or to be motivated about the task).

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue, on the other hand, is a “by-product” of years of helping others in need and in distress, which in some people leads to reduced empathy towards the future patients.

Other symptoms may show as physical, such as headaches, lethargy, GIT issues, and of course negative thoughts and loss of hope.

The important lesson we have to learn is that it’s perfectly fine to ask for help. It doesn’t have to be a psychiatrist, it doesn’t have to be a medical professional, it can be your best friend, your mother, or a sibling.

As long as you seek support and guidance, you’re one step closer to resolving the issue. Every person is different and unique. Some will recharge their batteries with a week-long vacation on an island, some just need a shoulder to cry, others may need to change professions.

At the end of the day, you’re the most important person in the room and you need to take care of yourself first before taking care of others.