An Entire Month For Mental Health Awareness
May 8, 2013

An Entire Month For Mental Health Awareness

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month as the American Psychological Association (APA) website showed.  This year, the awareness will be particularly on children and minorities, but we all need to be responsible about our mental health. Mental health is very serious, and this month the focus will not only be on the mental health disorders but also on their affect on the young and underrepresented. The White House released a Presidential Proclamation about this month stating:

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2013 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives.”

So, I decided to follow up on the president’s call and the APA website’s resolve by writing about mental health issues. As I was thinking about this, I decided to focus on discussing some of the most common mental health issues as well as the resources for mental health support. Mental disorders affect more people than cancer and heart disease, so it is important to know about them. According to the Discovery website, these are the top 10 most diagnosed mental disorders:

10. Autism Spectrum Disorders

9. Schizophrenia

8. Bipolar Disorder

7. Panic Disorder

6. Anxiety Disorders

5. Phobias

4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

3. Eating Disorders

2. Personality Disorders

1. Mood Disorders

Each one of these mental disorders requires a professional’s attention. These are not disorders that one can just ignore or deny and life will be fine. These majorly impact our emotional, mental, and physical health, not to mention our relationships, careers, and even interactions with strangers. This month is crucial to helping people to understand their own mental health especially if they have a diagnosed disorder but also if they suspect they might need help.

To that end, the Psychology Today website has provided a list of helpful resources:

Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, mental health affects physical health, so we must all be conscientious of our mental health. Seeking help is critical to dealing with a mental health disorder. Talk to your doctor, check online, contact one of the above resources, and find the help you need. Don’t just go about suffering from one of the above listed mental disorders or some other issue. Seek what you need to live a happy and healthy life.

This month, spread the word. Help yourself and help others.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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