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Friday, May 29, 2020

Mental Health Awareness Month: Ending Stigma

Mental Health
The month of May has been especially challenging for millions of Americans living with and mental health disorders. Nearly two million Americans have contracted the coronavirus COVID-19, and 100,652 have lost their lives to the deadly virus. This is an unprecedented time in modern history, and the events of the last few months have severely impacted the entire country.

More than 40 million Americans have been laid off, fired, or furloughed. The unemployment rate has exponentially eclipsed the "Great Recession" of 2008 and will likely surpass the "Great Depression" of 1929. However, unlike the former sources of significant unemployment, this crisis is the result of an invisible force that has nothing to do with greed.

All of us are living in an unrecognizable world; face masks, social distancing, and government-mandated stay at home orders, to name a few. Millions of individuals are living in fear for their lives as the death toll continues to rise globally. At least 360,000 people have died from health complications related to the coronavirus worldwide. Americans nearly make up a third of the global death toll.

For the one in five Americans who contend with a mental illness every day, the last three months have been traumatic. Stress and feelings of uncertainty trigger symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. When people living with mental illness feel backed into a corner, they are apt to resort to self-destructive coping mechanisms.

Stigma prevents people from reaching out for professional help; fewer than half of American s living with a mental illness receive the assistance they require. Now, more than ever, we need to work tirelessly to change that statistic.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020


A new study predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to as many as 150,000 Americans dying from alcohol, drugs, or suicide this year. Naturally, many of those people will have pre-existing mental health conditions. Many deaths can be prevented if actions are taken to remind people that they are not alone.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The theme this year is "You Are Not Alone." The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA) asks that we all join forces to break the stigma of mental illness that is a barrier to treatment. Each of us can play a critical role in saving lives during these troubling times of uncertainty. NAMI writes that the:  

"You are Not Alone" campaign features the lived experience of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever before, it is important for the mental health community to come together and show the world that no one should ever feel alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness with the digital tools that make connection possible during a climate of physical distancing. Even in times of uncertainty, the NAMI community is always here, reminding everyone that you are not alone. 

How can you help during Mental Health Month? For one, you can share your story and experience with mental illness, provided you feel comfortable. You can also take to your social media account to disseminate #NotAlone graphics and messages with your community and mental health resources with your friends who may be suffering in silence.

Faith-Based Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Illness Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we can help you or someone you care about with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We rely on evidence-based therapies along with the teachings of Jesus Christ to help our clients begin a journey of lasting recovery.

The Celebrate Hope team is keeping every soul impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts and prayers.

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