May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It's the ideal time to open up the conversation, reach out, and spread awareness about the significance of the problem in our schools and communities—and what we can do about it. With better awareness we can decrease stigma around mental illness, educating students and teacher about symptoms, encourage seeking help for oneself and others, and promote creating a culture of caring and connectedness in our schools and communities.
Mental health issues affect us all. You may be among the one in five Americans with a chronic mental illness. Or, you may have experienced temporary symptoms at some point in your life. If not, a friend, spouse, child, or co-worker may suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition.
Unfortunately, although we have made progress, the stigma around mental health persists. While some people are open about their mental health problems, others keep it a close secret. Mental health problems and suicide have risen to epidemic proportions among children and youth, causing major concerns in our communities and school systems. Of special concern are students who have mental health issues who have not been identified and are not receiving treatment, affecting their academic and long-term life outcomes.
Here are just a few of the facts about mental illness among students, school staff, and Caregivers:
Tools and Resources Support, Prevention, and Crisis Intervention
Many organizations, resources, and tools are available help us build awareness, identify children at risk, create solutions, promote supportive schools and communities, and improve access to care. No one is immune to mental health problems. It's time for us get support ourselves and those who need our help to increase mental wellbeing.
Below are resources to help students, parents, districts, and teachers with issues surrounding mental illness.
Youth Suicide Prevention and Crisis Helplines
Adult and All-Ages Suicide Prevention and Crisis Helplines
General Suicide Resources and Information
Youth and Family Mental Health Support, Referrals, and General Resources
Adult and All Ages Mental Health Support, Listings, Referrals, and General Resources
People of Color
Mental Health Resources for LGBTQ Community
Mental Health Resources for Parents
Educator Resources for Self-Care and Mental/Emotional Wellness
District, School, and Educator Tool Kits
Take action this May during Mental Health Month
Spread Awareness. Share Information. Find Resources. Whether you're a student of any age in any community, parent, teacher, or school administrator, it's time to take action. We can all agree that heightening awareness about mental health in our communities is a crucial step in reducing stigma, encouraging people to seek help, and creating caring, connected communities that support all those with mental health issues.
With so many ways to find information, get help, and avert a crisis, we can all play a part in helping ourselves, our students, caregivers and families, peers, and co-worker. Let's take advantage of Mental Health Month to commit to learning more about how to spot warning signs, support and intervene on students at risk, and create sound mental health policies that create an improved learning environments and healthier school communities.
Convenient tools featuring mobile and online technologies can help educators improve mental, emotional, and physical health to help students learn better and live better—now and as they transition to adulthood. STOPit Solutions offers a mobile app to centralize, localize, and increase access to mental health and crisis resources in your community. Together, we make a difference!