There Aren't Enough Months in the Year!
If you didn’t know, we just closed out Mental Illness Awareness Month (May). The theme was “Back to Basics,” which stresses fundamental knowledge about mental illness. For sufferers of bipolar and other disorders, every month is mental illness month, and every month is another survived — if they’re lucky.
You might not have been aware of this month, which means it failed at its purpose of raising your awareness. It was, after all, Foster Care Awareness Month. It was also Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, Maternal Mental Health Month, and National Teen Self-Esteem Month.
June will be Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, National PTSD Awareness Month, and National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.
It’s often an organization that creates these occasions, and to be a bit crass, they conduct fundraising campaigns around them. National Mental Illness Awareness Month was created by Mental Health America in 1949. The organization was then known as the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and then later as the National Mental Health Association
Weeks and even days get into the awareness business too. We had a National Mental Health Awareness Week. It was from May 10 to May 16. The UK’s Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago.
Of course, World Bipolar Day is held on Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. In May, we just had National Barber Mental Health Awareness Day, National Garden Meditation Day, and National Smile Day. Also we had Childhood Depression Awareness Day and National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day.
Some of these days and the groups sponsoring them are more compelling than others. Competing groups create these commemorations. And it gets confusing. If you miss one, even an important one, don't feel bad. There's always next year!