Ongoing wars and pandemics, added to the personal stresses we all face, can take a toll on our mental health. Since 1949, the month of May has been designated as National Mental Health Month
to call attention to the need for mental health awareness and wellness in the lives of Americans. According to Mental Health America
, the term mental health refers to the emotional and social well-being of individuals, impacting the way they think, feel, and behave. It plays a role in how people connect with others, make decisions, handle stress and many other aspects of daily life. Paying attention to our own mental health—and our family, friends, and colleagues—is especially important during these unsettled times. As social workers, mental health awareness is a critical aspect of our profession and our ability to connect with appropriate services is imperative. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, for example, has planned an entire month of information, including a Twitter chat on mental health at work, as well as presentations on suicide prevention and reducing the stigma associated with mental health. We also know that stress can look quite different in relation to our diverse backgrounds and the varying interactions we possess.