You are currently viewing WestCare Champions Mental Health Month

WestCare Champions Mental Health Month

  • Post category:Foundation

By David Rosynsky, Senior Director of Inclusive Communications

In May, during National Mental Health Month, WestCare acknowledges the crucial work our personnel undertake in supporting individuals who face mental health conditions, often alongside substance use disorders and other chronic health challenges.

WestCare recognizes that mental health issues can affect anyone. Experiencing a mental health condition is an asset to be embraced, not a cause for shame. There should be no stigma in experiencing and/or seeking help for mental health issues.

Mental Health America (MHA), the founder of Mental Health Month in 1949, notes that nearly 1 in 5 American adults will experience a diagnosable mental health condition annually. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Moreover, both MHA and NAMI report that 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

In an organization as vast as WestCare, these statistics transcend mere numbers; they embody real people—the individuals we serve, our loved ones, and ourselves.

This makes May a crucial time to dismantle the stigma associated with mental illness and affirm that mental health conditions are common, manageable, and treatable. Seeking help is a sign of strength and advocating for better mental health care is essential.

Our world is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to navigate the rapid pace of life. Daily pressures, along with societal changes and current events, can often feel overwhelming. This is especially true for those working in the health and human services arenas. This month offers a vital opportunity to manage our mental health by embracing a key principle of recovery: the serenity to accept what we cannot change, the courage to change what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

WestCare remains dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of the communities and individuals we serve as demonstrated by our commitment to evidence-based, early-intervention courses like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Throughout our organization, WestCare specializes in addressing mental health issues, especially ones that co-exist or co-occur with substance use disorders. A complete list of WestCare programs is available on the WestCare website.

Moreover, WestCare is particularly focused on populations that face significant barriers to accessing mental health services, including BIPOC individuals, other racial and ethnic groups, seniors, children, youth, teens, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with differing abilities, and Veterans.

We also acknowledge the profound impact mental health conditions can have on family members and caregivers. This month, we honor their strength and keep them close in our thoughts.

For more information on mental health awareness, several organizations offer Mental Health Month toolkits, including Mental Health America, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Alliance on Mental Health.

WestCare is proud of the resilience and dedication of our workforce. Their efforts truly make a difference. Together, we can overcome barriers and enhance mental health for all.