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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 5/21/2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a national observance established in 1949 by Mental Health America to bring attention to the importance of mental well-being and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Observing Mental Health Awareness Month on campuses is a great opportunity to educate students about mental health, promote well-being, and reduce stigma.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, almost 450 million people worldwide currently live with a mental illness, yet less than two-thirds of people with a diagnosed mental illness ever seek treatment.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as many as one in five children and adolescents in the United States have a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, but only about 20% of these 14 million-plus children ever receive care from a specialized mental health provider.

As we celebrate the final days of the school year, keep in mind that there are students you may serve that aren't looking forward to summer. School may be the place they feel the safest or provides the most opportunity for connection. They also have less access to resources—especially for our middle and high school students—and could benefit from the following hotlines and community resources.

Mental Health Crises

The resources listed below are free and available to anyone who is—or knows someone who is—experiencing a mental health crisis:

Classroom resources

Here are some activities that can be integrated into the classroom setting:

  • MHA’s 2024 Mental Health Month Toolkitprovides free resources to help plan your efforts and raise awareness during the month of May and beyond. It has DIY tools, social media assets, resources, templates, printable handouts, and more!
  • com offers science-based exercises that explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, as well as mental health games and activities for children.
  • WeAreTeachers.com suggests 25 empowering mental health activities to help teens build resilience and to make a positive impact on their mental health.