October is known worldwide as Mental Health Month. “Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul.” – Ezra Taft Benson
Ezra speaks truly, the worst battles we can fight are those within ourselves, against voices that persist and habits that were once healthy and now don’t serve to help us at all. Mental Health problems are a silent enemy, one that those around us can neither see nor hear, but that those who suffer from it can scarcely avoid. Where do you hide from your own mind? Mental Health Month seeks to raise awareness of these conditions and what you can do to help those who suffer from them.
History Of Mental Health Month
The story of mental health care is a long one, reaching far back into history where men and women battled with what were believed to be literally invisible demons that lived in their heads. Prayer and exorcisms, witch doctors and shamans alike were called on to aid those who struggled with these conditions. Later it was determined that rather than some supernatural element, it was clear that those suffering from these disorders were, in fact, dealing with medical conditions that could be treated, though no one quite knew how in those days.
It wasn’t until on Clifford W. Beers attempted suicide after his first battle with the (then unknown) bipolar disorder and the death of his brother that someone finally started championing those who suffered from mental health disorders. His experience in those institutions at the time showed him that something had to be done to help others with similar issues, and began a long quest to improve the mental health profession. Mental Health Month was established to champion this quest, and to help raise awareness of all the conditions and the millions of people who battle them every month.
How To Celebrate Mental Health Month
Mental Health Month is best celebrated by educating yourself on the conditions that those with mental disorders live with. A little understanding can go a long way towards helping these individuals live an open and meaningful life, and feel welcome and loved among their friends and families. You can also volunteer at local clinics, and aid the entire community by providing much-needed assistance to these organizations. If nothing else, a simple donation to one of the organizations who work to champion the research and treatment of these conditions can go a long way. Don’t let Mental Health Month go by without broadening your understanding of the challenges of mental illness.
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