May is Mental Health Month. This offers intentional opportunity to think proactively about mental health, its impact on our lives and communities, and create ways to destigmatize related issues. I find that Mental Health Month comes at a naturally good time in our seasonal calendar- with the start of spring, there is newness in our lives and perhaps this can spark a new way of seeing our health, including mental health.
Mental Health is much more than diagnosis and therapy. We tend to barricade mental health away from the everydayness of our lives. This May, during Mental Health Month, I challenge churches and congregants to consider all of the habits we can develop and practice to promote better mental health. Together, we can encourage mental health as a positive part of our church culture. If we do this, we will help destigmatize mental health concerns, leading to healthier communities. Physical health and mental health are inseparable which gives us even more reason to highlight this month.
Mental Health Month should be welcomed and embraced by faith communities because of the hope found in healthy-living practices, treatment, and community support. Mental health can be about the maintaining of one’s emotional and mental well-being. I pray that this month gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you need to be mentally healthy, how to live that out, and how to support others’ mental health.
Helpful resources for you and your church:
Mental Health Tool-Kit -Mental Health America offers this tool-kit with fact sheets and handouts related to the impact of diet, sleep, stress, gut health, exercise, and more on mental-health. A tangible resource to boost your conversation.
NAMI- Mental Health Month – The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides good insight on the importance of this month as well as their theme of “Cure Stigma”.
Psychology Today– This article gives concrete ways to raise awareness this month ans promote mental health.