May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The history of mental health awareness is quite dynamic. You probably know of an instance where someone with a mental illness did not receive proper treatment. More simply than that, you probably know someone who has experienced mental illness, even if they didn’t tell you outright. It’s more common than you think.

Local Mental Health Resources

We’re not here to lecture everyone about the history of mental health awareness. There are plenty of books and articles that already exist, and they do a great job of introducing the topic of mental health awareness to anyone. What we are talking about today is real resources for real help. Today there exist not only doctors, but organizations and support groups to help those with mental health issues and their families. Let’s begin with one called NAMI.

NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You may have already clicked through to their website, but they actually have a website specifically dedicated to their Kern County chapter right here. That is one of its strengths: the organization tries its best to foster efforts at the local level and provide local spaces to meet. We encourage anyone who has experienced mental illness to reach out to them. Whether it’s attending meetings or calling their hotline when a crisis arises, we can all take advantage of the help that is available to us and our loved ones.

Mental Health Resources, Wherever You Are

Another resource for helping anyone with mental illness if the wide world of apps. That’s right. Though “apps for everything” may have been a common joke four or five years ago, we now have access to many apps that can help in both a broad sense or a specifically targeted sense. Many of them are free! Go ahead and download one if you’d like to learn more about it.

We often associate our government with schools, fire stations, and other public goods, but it actually offers a lot of information on mental health. You can explore their site to learn about mental health at all ages. What we feel is important, however, is their “Get Immediate Help” page, which is a good place to turn to in the event of a crisis. Here’s another link to it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to talk to someone else about mental health. Don’t be afraid to listen either. You can help reduce the stigma around mental health discussion. If you digitally share anything about mental health this month, include the hashtag “#IntoMentalHealth” to join the larger conversation taking place. As always, ask your pediatrician if you are unsure about anything related to the health of your child. At Bakersfield Pediatrics, we’re #IntoMentalHealth .

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