Month of May Spotlights Mental Health and the Profession With Celebrations and Activities
National Mental Health Counseling Week
For mental health counselors, a special focus of May is National Mental Health Counseling Week, celebrated this year May 1–8, 2012.
National Mental Health Counseling Week is our profession’s annual opportunity to gain recognition for our profession while supporting our communities through outreach and education about mental health. This year’s theme is “Mental Health … The Mind Body Connection.”
National Mental Health Counseling Week increases mental health awareness, promotes recognition of your state chapter and AMHCA, and supports the mental health counseling profession as a whole.
- State Chapter Project Manual
AMHCA leaders created a guide for state chapter to use as a resource for making National Mental Health Counseling Week meaningful. We encourage you and your members to raise awareness by focusing on mental health at home, in the community, in the military, in schools, and in the workplace.
AMHCA’s Project Manual focuses on these different aspects of mental health, contains suggested activities for each of these venues, and serves as a guide for chapter leaders and committees to plan activities to promote mental health counseling awareness throughout each state.
For example, through several new initiatives, mental health professionals are educating military leadership about the importance of mental healthcare and working to reduce the stigma often associated with seeking psychological services. More services are now available to service members and their families throughout the deployment cycle, focusing especially on intervention for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
The manual suggests two websites that contain information about counseling services available for active and retired military and their families: The Military Family Network™ , and Military OneSource.
The Military Family Network™ works with the military, government, organizations, businesses, and military families to create a community of expert and trusted resources both online and off. Military OneSource offers counseling services designed to provide help with short-term issues such as adjustment to situational stressors, stress management, decision-making, communication, grief, blended-family issues, and parenting-skills issues.
Chapters with members who live or work near a military base can offer to speak about topics important to military families, such as reintegrating a soldier into the home and community, how to recognize signs of PTSD and TBI, stress management, grief, and how to help children adjust to relocation.
Special thanks to Joan Normandy–Dolberg, LPC, NCC of AMHCA’s Public Awareness Committee for her work on the Project Manual. Download AMHCA’s manual.
Mental Health Counseling Week is an annual opportunity not only to advocate for our profession, but also to reflect on its value and impact in our own lives and the lives of others.
Perhaps you have a colleague in mental health counseling whose work has inspired you or who was crucial to your professional growth. Perhaps you wish to celebrate a loved one for whom issues of mental health were important, or who was a particular support to your mental health counseling career.
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the AMHCA Foundation to honor such individuals or celebrate their memory during National Mental Health Counseling Week. We will publish the names of those honored or memorialized in the Advocate and on the Foundation’s website.
May Is Mental Health Month
The whole month is devoted to mental health activities to draw attention to the importance of mental wellness. Join Mental Health America and its more than 240 affiliates nationwide in celebrating 2012 May is Mental Health Month, which this year has two themes:
- “Do More For 1 in 4” is a call to action to help the one in four American adults each year who have a diagnosable, treatable, mental health condition. They need to know that treatment works, recovery is the expectation, and screening is a first step to help.
“Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds” brings to light the many sources of trauma, its profound health effects, the cost to trauma survivors and society, and new hope for healing.
Download the “May is Mental Health Month” materials. Find your local affiliate
of Mental Health America.