Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness
The month of May signifies the National Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. Mental health awareness is the ongoing effort to reduce the stigma around mental illness and mental health conditions by sharing our personal experiences. Often the stigma that is associated with mental health causes individuals to suffer in silence. Over time, this can result in your mental health becoming overwhelmed. A lot of people do not realize that mental health over time affects their physical and emotional health. By becoming aware of your mental health, you will not only help yourself but also your loved ones. The benefits of mental health awareness include acknowledging your emotions and stress levels. Stress can impact our mental health by causing changes in sleeping patterns, loss of appetite, suicidal thoughts as well as turning to drugs or alcohol in moments of distress.
Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The mental health of individuals within New York has taken an extreme decline in recent years with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Although the state seems to be progressing against the pandemic, many individuals are finding it difficult to return to the life they once had. According to the New York Times, “More than 53,000 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, leaving friends and family members mourning” (New York Times, 2021). Throughout the pandemic, millions of New Yorkers have lost income and employment, causing families to suffer housing instability and food insecurities. The economic hardship along with the loss of loved ones has taken a toll on the mental health of multiple communities. Below, you can see the percentage of adults experiencing stress by race and ethnicity in NYC.
Results found by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed that out of all adults, Latino/a adults were more likely than White adults to report being financially stressed due to the impacts of the pandemic. Asian/Pacific Islander and Black/African American adults in NYC were more likely to report experiencing a lack of emotional support compared with White/Caucasian adults in NYC (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2021).
By acknowledging Mental Health awareness during the month of May and beyond, people will know more about understanding mental health and reaching out for help. Therefore over time, more resources will become widely available. Without mental health resources, it would not be possible to get to a place where one may feel happy. The most important benefit of raising mental health awareness is to reduce the stigma associated with it. Mental health impacts millions of people across the country. It needs to be openly talked about so that we can get one step closer to feeling better emotionally and physically. We must remember that everyone's mental health varies and it does not look the same for everyone.
Below are a few resources specifically for you to assist in taking care of your mental health during this time. You may also visit NYC.gov for a full list of resources available.
New York City-Emotional Support Helpline
The Emotional Support Helpline provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Helpline is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.
Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese
Hearing Impaired: 711
Hours: 24 hours/7 days a week
Astor Services for Children and Families - Bronx
Family Connections is a 4-6 month home-based program for families of a child (age birth-18) with at least one risk factor that impacts the child negatively. Case planners support families by developing skills and competencies that will enable them to keep their children in the home and out of placement. Out of the many services they offer the main include mental health valuation, mental healthcare, family counseling, and understanding mental health.
Languages: English, Spanish
6339 Mill Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
750 Tilden Street
Bronx, NY 10467
Bridging Access To Care
Bridging Access To Care is a nonprofit, multi-service, community-based behavioral health care organization. Services include comprehensive HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse-related social services to under-served racial and ethnic minority communities in the borough. There are three different locations located in Brooklyn with the main office in Flatbush.
Cost: Reduced cost through Medicaid/Medicare
Main Office - Flatbush
2261 Church Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226