This year, National Mental Health Awareness Month coincides with one of the most complex and challenging periods in our Nation’s recent history — combating the coronavirus pandemic.  Not only has the virus caused immense physical suffering and loss for many people, it has also resulted in mental and emotional hardship.  The stress and worry over the health and safety of family and friends, forced isolation, and financial distress can all result in anxiety, depression, substance misuse and abuse, and, tragically, even suicide. 

Mental illness can affect anyone and can develop at any time.  Its effects spread well beyond the individual to family, friends, and coworkers.  We must fight the stigmas surrounding mental illness and empower those affected by emotional distress and their loved ones to seek care.  We must commit to strengthening our efforts to ensure every individual living with a mental illness, including children and young adults, our Nation’s fastest growing population diagnosed with behavioral, mental, or emotional issues, receives the care and treatment they need to enjoy the blessings of a fulfilling and productive life.

We want you to join us in spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about by using the Tools To Thrive provided by Mental Health America. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Tools2Thrive: HANDOUT Creating Healthy Routines will provide practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with. These tools – even those that may need to be adapted for the short term because of COVID-19 and social distancing – will be more useful than ever.

Mental health is one of your greatest assets. It helps you focus at work, overcome obstacles, get along with the people around you—and get well and stay well.

Now more than ever before, it is important for the mental health community to come together and show the world that no one should ever feel alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is tel:1-800-273-8255. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-national-mental-health-awareness-month-2020/

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