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Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Each May, we acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Month as a time to raise awareness around the prevalence of mental health in our communities and work to end the stigma surrounding it. This year’s Mental Health America theme, “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World,” focuses on the struggles of beginning your mental health journey.

On average, 1 in 5 adults in the US live with a mental health condition, yet only 47.2% of them receive treatment. By working towards eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health, it’s our goal to see a rise in the number of people seeking help.

As a leading mental health provider in Western New York, we reached out to our dedicated team members to hear what Mental Health Awareness Month means to them, why it’s important to break the stigma, and the strength there is in reaching out for help. Here’s what they said:

What does Mental Health Awareness Month mean to you?

“Mental Health Awareness Month is so important. It allows us the opportunity to talk more freely about mental health and to be able to attend many community events that draw attention to the importance of understanding the challenges faced by so many people who struggle with their own mental health.”

– Janet, Parent and Family Support Liaison

What does it mean to break the stigma surrounding mental health?

“Breaking the stigma surrounding mental health is very important to me because I feel it’s not talked about enough in certain communities. It’s important for people to know that they’re not alone in what and how they’re feeling. Mental health is becoming more normalized in society, which is beneficial for communities where there is stigma because it’s making people more comfortable to reach out when they’re struggling.”

– Nia, Senior Counselor

Nia Ross

For those hesitant to reach out for mental health support, what do you want them to know?

“I would want them to know that asking for help is an imperfect and vulnerable process; that it does not have to be done with grace, elegance, or at the perfectly-timed moment. We often fall into despair and much the same, we can fall into getting help. All it takes is to have the hope, however small, to want something to be different and to want to feel better. Trust that that feeling will carry you far enough to find your footing and that there are people out there who want to walk with you on that journey.”
– Natascha, Medical Operations Specialist

Natascha Oquendo Borrero

This month, and year-round, we remind you of the importance of making your mental health a priority. If you or a loved one is struggling, Horizon’s licensed counselors and medical providers are here to provide support. Call us today at 716-831-1800 or click here to learn more.