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May 7, 2024

Mental Health Awareness Month 2024: Mental Health Looks Different for Everyone

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Mental Health Awareness Month, a significant milestone highlighting an enduring commitment to the advancement of mental health care and advocacy. As we’ve written about in the past, mental health and cognition are deeply intertwined, which is why we love using this time of year to reflect on the importance of mental well-being.

Just as bodily health is relevant to everyone with a body, mental health is relevant to everyone with a mind. That is to say, whether you're feeling tip-top or a little down, whether you have a formal diagnosis or are just looking for a little support – it’s important to know that mental health needs are universal, and there are a number of resources available to you.

With that in mind, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has chosen this year to emphasize the diversity of mental health experiences and needs we all have. To do so, each week of Mental Health Awareness Month centers on bringing attention to a particular theme or population. While every individual ultimately has a different perspective, these groupings also underscore some of the common experiences that connect us with others.

Let’s delve into the themes outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for this year’s observance.

Week 1: Older Adults

The first week focuses on the mental health needs of older adults. As we age, life changes can impact our mental well-being. It’s essential to recognize that older adults may experience mental health symptoms differently and may benefit from tailored support and resources. By fostering open conversations about mental health and providing accessible care, we can help older adults lead fulfilling lives.

Perhaps most importantly, we must keep in mind that it’s never too late to get help. And sometimes, an improvement to mental health is as simple as spending more time with friends and family.

Week 2: Children and Teens

The second week spotlights resources for children and teens to build resilience and manage life stressors effectively. Supportive environments and early intervention play a crucial role in nurturing mental well-being in young people. By promoting coping skills and destigmatizing discussions about mental health, we empower the next generation to prioritize their mental wellness.

As SAMHSA highlights, “supportive families, communities, and resources can help youth build strong foundations for lifelong well-being.”

Week 3: Pregnant and Postpartum People

Week three emphasizes the importance of maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Pregnancy and childbirth bring a range of emotions, and it’s vital to address any mental health concerns promptly. Seeking help when needed and practicing self-care are essential for maternal well-being and the health of both parent and child.

Just as mothers strive to support their families and children, it’s important for the communities around them to nurture their needs.

Week 4: Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

This week focuses on the unique challenges and strengths of mental health in racial and ethnic minority groups. Culturally competent care and inclusive support systems are crucial for addressing the diverse needs within these communities. By acknowledging cultural nuances and reducing barriers to treatment, we strive for more equitable and accessible mental health care.

As SAMHSA highlights, “everyone deserves access to respectful and culturally appropriate care.”

Week 5: LGBTQIA+ Communities

The final week centers on building support for mental well-being in the LGBTQIA+ community. Inclusive environments, family support, and community acceptance are vital for promoting mental health and resilience among LGBTQIA+ individuals. Celebrating individual identities and fostering a sense of belonging contribute to emotional well-being and overall health.

With over 100 million of us, Lumosity members represent a global community of all different ages and backgrounds. As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s embrace diverse perspectives, advocate for inclusive care, and work towards a future where mental wellness is a priority for all. Together, we can make a positive impact and create a more supportive and understanding society.

Resources: To learn more about SAMHSA’s Mental Health Awareness Month observance this year, and for toolkits on how to spread the word, visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health-awareness-month/toolkit

If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or with their mental health, here are some ways to get help:

Immediate Crisis Support:
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Visit link, or call or text 988
Veterans Crisis: Visit link or call 988 then press 1
Disaster Distress Hotline: for those experiencing emotional distress related to natural disasters, click link or call 1-800-985-5990

Finding Healthcare Providers or Treatment: Treatment for mental illnesses can involve a variety of approaches including therapy (in-person or remotely), medication, or some combination of the two. We recommend visiting the National Institute of Mental Health website for more information on how to access care through providers like:

  • Primary Care Providers
  • Federal, National, and State organizations
  • Insurance Providers
  • Universities and College Health Services
  • Veteran Affairs
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