“Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without the information, support, and help they need.” These are the words summing up this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month theme, and we couldn’t agree with them more.
NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year has a theme, and this year’s theme resonates strongly after a year of social distancing for public health measures made isolation more acute than ever: “You are not alone.”
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month isn’t just directed at those suffering from mental illness, either. It is meant as encouragement for those who are dedicated to helping family members and friends with their mental illnesses, on top of managing their own daily lives. These helpers are lifesavers in times of need, but it can feel very lonely caring for a loved one with mental illness. NAMI recognizes the hard work of these individuals and the strength of those who experience mental illness in their daily lives.
Mental Health Awareness Month is also a time to fight the stigma that society still has on those who experience mental illness. NAMI discovered through a recent study that while 20% of adults experienced symptoms of mental illness in 2019, only 5% of them reported that they got any kind of treatment. As we talk about mental health, social stigmas that keep people from getting help will disappear. This year, NAMI is sharing personal stories from people who have gone through struggles with their mental health in order to help normalize talking about our experiences.
The symptoms of any mental illness can make anyone feel very alone, but we hope this Mental Health Awareness Month will help remind you that you don’t have to face your struggle by yourself. Use this month’s focus on mental health as a reason to open up to someone, whether it is a therapist, a family member, a friend or even a coworker. Nutrien has free and confidential mental health resources for employees and their families that you are encouraged to contact.
Even if you don’t struggle with mental health issues or have someone in your family who does, you can still use this month to make a difference. Remind your friends and loved ones just how much they mean to you, be kind to strangers, and always be encouraging to those around you.