Throughout the month of May, we’re working to raise awareness of one of the most pressing crises of our time: mental health.
For too long in our society, mental health has been viewed as a secondary concern or even ignored. That attitude has led to a lack of awareness of people suffering from mental illness, as well as a lack of support and resources to help them. Even today, in 2023, there’s a distressing lack of awareness of the full effects of mental illness.
Mental health affects all of us.
Disorders like depression and anxiety can harm our entire being, including our physical health. They can also cause fractures in our relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. So, ultimately, mental health is far from an isolated issue one person has to deal with — it’s a communal challenge that we should take on together.
Thankfully, we are making progress. Mental Health Awareness Month is helping us make good strides in raising awareness. High-profile individuals, from athletes to politicians, are speaking out honestly about their own struggles and making it easier for the rest of us to be honest about ours. And thanks to the great work of organizations like the National Association for Mental Illness and local organizations like Hanna, we have more resources available to understand mental illness and how to help each person’s unique challenges through trauma-informed care.
Here in the Sonoma Valley, Hanna Center and many of our partners are working to address mental health for youth and families in our community. That work is vital — because one in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year, and one in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 10-34 in the United States. And the numbers are only increasing: the number of people with suicidal ideation has increased every year since 2012.*
In such a wealthy, prosperous part of the country, we have the ability to reverse the trend — and we should.
So throughout May, we hope you’ll join us in raising awareness about mental health. Share our social media posts, forward our emails, and help us advocate for improvements in mental health care across our region.
And if you know someone who is suffering from mental illness, don’t hesitate: encourage them to seek help. Here in the Sonoma Valley area, our Community Mental Health Hub at Hanna is here to help, from individual and family therapy to resources and support groups. Click here learn more about the Hub.
Take care of yourselves, and each other.
— The Hanna Center Team