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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The observance of National Mental Health Awareness Month helps to raise awareness of mental health conditions and related issues that affect many Americans.

This year’s theme is “Life with a Mental Illness,” and organizations such as Mental Health America is asking people to share what it feels like to live with a mental illness, whether you are struggling to explain what you’re going through, or trying to help others figure out what they are dealing with. Why? To help break down the negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses and show others that they are not alone in their symptoms or their feelings.

MHA’s aim is to highlight how people dealing with mental health disorders can still lead full and enriching lives with proper care. They reach millions of people through the media, local events and screenings, and this year, they’re encouraging people to participate through social media. For example, you can tag your Twitter and Instagram posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike, and those posts will be collected and later displayed at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.

If you’re not comfortable sharing on your social media accounts, you can submit an anonymous post with images and/or text to the same site, www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike. You can also visit the site if you simply want to see what other people are saying about how it feels to live with a mental illness.

The site will also help you learn more about how common mental illnesses are, how people describe them, tips for tackling symptoms, and the recovery process. You can also access their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest accounts. As they say on the site, there is power in sharing.

Attitudes toward mental health issues have evolved in recent years, but there are still stigmas to overcome. Mental Health America also wants to encourage people to intervene or seek help for a mental health condition before it becomes serious.

Help spread the growing acceptance toward individuals with mental health issues by participating!