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National Mental Health Month

writtenByWritten by: Leah McCabe
Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

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May 6, 2021 Read Time - 6 minutes

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! 

Since 1949, Mental Health America has led the observance of mental health awareness in the month of May.


One in five people will experience mental illness such as depression or anxiety during their lifetime. These conditions are highly treatable and there are many different treatment approaches to try.


Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

In 2021, Mental Health America is continuing their Mental Health Month theme of Tools 2 Thrive, providing practical tools that everyone can use to take control of their mental health and boost their resiliency, regardless of their personal situation.

In this article, we’ll be exploring May Mental Health Month and discussing each of the tools prepared by Mental Health America. Remember: if you or a loved one would like to consult a mental health professional, the licensed doctors at PlushCare can help you start your journey toward mental wellbeing.

  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

When Is Mental Health Awareness Month?

Since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May throughout the United States. During May Mental Health Month, many organizations promote mental health awareness through local events, film screenings, and media.

This year, celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month is more important than ever. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages,” according to Mental Health America. “Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.”

May Mental Health Month: Mental Health America’s Tools 2 Thrive

Owning Your Feelings

Most people don’t take the time to identify what and how they’re feeling.

Taking the time to think about your emotions can help you better cope with challenging situations that may cause unpleasant and difficult feelings.

Some tips to do this during Mental Health Awareness Month include:

  • Allow yourself to feel. Pushing feelings aside is not always an appropriate or wise choice, as repressed emotions can torment us and come back in different forms.
  • Talk it out. Talking to someone about your emotions will allow you to more directly confront and identify them.
  • Build your emotional vocabulary. The more ways you know how to describe your feelings, the easier it will be for you and others to understand.
  • Trying journaling. Writing your thoughts out in front of you can lend necessary perspective to confusing or otherwise difficult emotions.
  • Consider the strength of your feelings.
  • Seek professional guidance. If you’re taking steps to be more in touch with your feelings but aren’t sure how to manage them, mental health providers have been trained to help. Click here to get started online.

Finding the Positive

At some point in our lives, we all experience loss. It could be the end of a relationship, losing a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural and healthy to experience grieving.


Read: Stages of Grief


During these difficult times of COVID-19, the sensation of loss is even greater for many.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the ways you can remember the good things about who or what you’ve lost, and how you can help yourself recover emotionally. 

  • Try to see your experience as a source of strength. Going through loss gives you the skills to deal with future tough situations
  • Learn from others. Nearly 60% of people have experienced a major loss in the last 3 years. Talking to others can guide you through the process. 
  • Look for opportunity amid adversity. Loss can change your entire world, and finding ways to thrive in a new reality can help us appreciate the old one from a healthier perspective. 
  • Do what makes you happy. Find activities that make your days enjoyable and fun.
  • Find ways to honor your loss. By memorializing the loss of a loved one, you help keep their memory alive. 

Eliminating Toxic Influences

Certain places and people can trigger negative feelings or harmful behaviors. Identifying toxic things around you is the first step to living free from their grasp.

Some traits of toxic people may include:

  • Manipulation. People who make you feel guilty or act fake toward you are usually there to gain something for themselves, not to help you. 
  • They make you feel bad about yourself. Insults are a direct way to make you feel bad, but there are plenty of other ways people can hurt you. For example, if someone downplays your achievements, they may be toxic for you. 
  • Being judgmental. Everyone is judgmental, but someone who constantly criticizes others for things they don’t approve of can be harmful to your mental health.
  • Negativity. Some people have trouble seeing the good and joy in life. If you are surrounded by someone like this, it can reflect your own views of the world and bring you down.
  • Passive aggression. Someone who expresses their discontent in hostile and unhelpful ways.
  • Being self-centered. Toxic people who don’t care for others will never put your problems in front of their own.
  • Being controlling. One of the most toxic behaviours is someone who controls others to do their bidding. They may try to restrict your actions and words, and they do not let you live comfortably.

Creating Health Routines

Routines shape our lives. How we choose to spend each day is often dictated by the patterns of our lifestyle.

Improving our routines during Mental Health Awareness Month can create enormous shifts in our mental health by changing the way we approach every new day.

  • Start small. Big changes may be hard to stick to, but small changes make it easier to adopt a routine.
  • Add to your existing habits. If you drink a cup of coffee in the morning, why not add 10 minutes of reading onto your routine that already exists?
  • Make swaps. Identify things in your day and swap them for new routines you want to try. This can remove negative routines and replace them with positive ones without using more time.  
  • Plan ahead. By planning ahead, you prepare yourself for new challenges that might be hard to overcome on the spot. 
  • Reward yourself for small victories.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day!
  • Browse our network of top therapist to find one that matches your needs.

  • Get private and secure emotional support weekly from your dedicated therapist.

  • Experience comprehensive care with unlimited access to your care team and primary care physician.

Talk to an Online Therapist PlushCare-App-Steps

Mental Health Treatment Online

PlushCare’s primary care doctors are here to help if you or a loved one is experiencing any mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression.


Our board-certified doctors have an average of 15 years of experience, are graduates from the top 50 U.S. medical schools, and treat 97% of conditions on the first visit.


Our top doctors can diagnose your condition and work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan, including medically necessary prescription medications that are not classified as controlled substances.

PlushCare physicians can also refill existing prescriptions you have.



Read More About Mental Health Awareness Month


Please Note: PlushCare does not have online psychiatrists at this time. That said, our primary care physicians are able to prescribe mental health medications such as antidepressants, and if necessary can provide you with a referral to a psychiatrist.

Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Mental Health America. Mental Health Month. Accessed on May 12, 2020 at https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health Month. Accessed on May 12, 2020 at https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Month

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Awareness Events. Accessed on May 12, 2020 at https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-events

National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Mental Health Month 2021. Accessed on May 6, 2021 at https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-month/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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