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How to help break the silence during Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health awareness is celebrated annually in May, bringing attention to the importance of good mental health and helping reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. As a month-long event, it provides an opportunity to educate the public about mental health, mental illness, their differences, and encourage people to seek help when needed.

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is "Hope, Help, and Healing," and focuses on the message of hope, the importance of seeking help, and the healing power of support and treatment. Hope, help, and healing is especially relevant given the mental health challenges that people around the world have faced since enduring the COVID-19 pandemic.

We cannot underestimate the impact of the global pandemic on mental health. Social isolation, economic stress, and uncertainty about the future have all contributed to an increase in anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression increased significantly during the pandemic, with rates almost four times higher than before the pandemic.

A key goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to encourage people to seek help when they need it. Unfortunately, a stigma remains surrounding mental illness that prevents many people from seeking help. Those with mental health issues may fear discrimination, judgment, or even job loss if they share their condition. This stigma can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and detachment, which aggravates mental health problems.

One way to break the silence surrounding mental health is through education. During Mental Health Awareness Month, organizations and mental health professionals work to educate the public about mental illness, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. By increasing public knowledge and understanding of mental health issues, we can raise the awareness associated with these conditions and encourage more people to seek help.

Another important goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to promote self-care and resilience. Self-care involves taking steps to maintain or improve one's mental health, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. Resilience, on the other hand, refers to the ability to bounce back from setbacks or adversity. By promoting self-care and resilience, we can help people develop the tools they need to manage their mental health and cope with life's challenges.

Mental Health Awareness Month provides an opportunity to focus on specific populations that may be at higher risk for mental health issues. For example, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and individuals with disabilities may face additional barriers to accessing mental health care. By highlighting these disparities and working to address them, we can help ensure everyone has access to the support and resources they need to maintain good mental health.

Ways to help

Property managers can support mental health by creating a safe and healthy living environment for occupants, which can promote well-being and reduce stress. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Foster a sense of community: Encourage residents to participate in community events and social activities, which can help build relationships and reduce isolation.
  • Promote healthy living: Consider offering fitness classes, healthy eating seminars, or health fairs to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Respond to concerns promptly: Address tenant complaints or maintenance requests in a timely and respectful manner, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Provide resources for mental health support: Share information about local mental health resources, such as support groups or counseling services.
  • Encourage open communication: Create an environment where your employees and residents or tenants feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns, and provide information on how to seek help if needed.
  • Consider accommodations for tenants and residents with mental health conditions: Work with tenants to create reasonable accommodations, such as quiet hours or assistance animals, that can support their mental health needs.
  • Educate staff on mental health awareness: Provide training for staff on mental health awareness and crisis intervention to help them recognize and respond to those who may be struggling.

By implementing these practices, property managers can create a supportive environment that promotes mental health and well-being.

There are many other ways to get involved. Organizations and individuals are hosting events, workshops, webinars, and support groups to raise awareness and promote good mental health. Social media is also a powerful tool for spreading awareness and reducing stigma. By using hashtags like #mentalhealthawarenessmonth, #endthestigma, and #breakthesilence, individuals can share their own experiences with mental health and help reduce the shame and isolation associated with these conditions. Let’s take time to promote help, healing, and well-being for ourselves and for those around us.


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): A US-based advocacy organization that offers support, education, and resources for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Their website provides information about mental health conditions, treatment options, and support groups.

Mental Health America (MHA): A US-based nonprofit organization that provides resources, education, and advocacy for individuals living with mental illness. MHA offers information about mental health conditions, treatment options, and resources for finding help.

Crisis Text Line: A US-based nonprofit organization that provides free, 24/7 support to people in crisis via text message. Text HOME to 741741 to contact a trained crisis counselor.

Headspace: A meditation app that offers guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to help reduce stress and improve mental well-being. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices.

BetterHelp: An online therapy platform that connects users with licensed mental health professionals. Users can message their therapist at any time, and schedule live video or phone sessions as needed.

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