Mental Health Basics and NIMA’s CureStigma Campaign

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. However, mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. It has impacted our family and, more than likely, yours.  Despite the reach and prevalence of mental illnesses, stigma and misunderstanding are also, unfortunately, widespread.

That is why each year, during the first full week of October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and participants across the country raise awareness of mental illness. Since this week was set aside by Congress in 1990, efforts to educate the public, fight stigma and provide support have grown stronger.

It is important to discuss mental health illnesses year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Illness Awareness Week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice. Advocates are working together to sponsor activities, large or small, to educate the public about mental illness.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health refers to your emotional and psychological well-being. Having good mental health helps you lead a relatively happy and healthy life. It helps you demonstrate resilience and the ability to cope in the face of life’s adversities.

Your mental health can be influenced by a variety of factors, including life events or even your genetics.

There are many strategies that can help you establish and keep good mental health. These can include:

  • keeping a positive attitude
  • staying physically active
  • helping other people
  • getting enough sleep
  • eating a healthy diet
  • asking for professional help with your mental health if you need it
  • socializing with people whom you enjoy spending time with
  • forming and using effective coping skills to deal with your problems

What is Mental Illness?

A mental illness is a broad term which encompasses a wide variety of conditions which affect the way you feel and think. It can also affect your ability to get through day-to-day life. Mental illnesses can be influenced by numerous factors, including:

  • genetics
  • environment
  • daily habits
  • biology

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