May is Mental Health Awareness MonthMay 17, 2023
For the past 20 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recognized Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) every May to increase awareness about the vital role mental health plays in our overall health and well-being.
If you or someone you know is mentally struggling, please know that you are not alone and no-cost help is available by phone by calling any of these Crisis Hotlines:
- Maternal Mental Health Hotline - 1-833-943-5746
- LGBTQI+ Youth Support - 9-8-8, then press 3 when prompted
- Specialized Crisis Support for Spanish Speakers - 9-8-8, then press 2 when prompted
- Native Crisis Text Line (American Indians and Alaska Natives) - Text "Native" to 741741
- You can also call 2-1-1 for assistance
Mental Health America (and its state branch Mental Health Connecticut) invites you to "Look Around, Look Within." Your surroundings say a lot about your mental health. From neighborhood to genetics, many factors come into play when it comes to mental health conditions.
While many parts of your environment can feel out of your control, there are steps you can take to change your space and protect your well-being and those around you. To learn more, visit mhanational.org/mental-health-month.
In 2022, the Connecticut legislature passed three transformative mental health measures.
The three laws – HB 5001, SB 1, and SB 2 – strengthen Connecticut's mental and behavioral health system, which experienced unprecedented strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. These new laws:
- Expand 24/7 emergency mental health response and create walk-ins for mental health emergencies
- Address shortages of mental health staff in our schools by offering grants to local schools to hire social workers, counselors, and psychologists
- Provide mental health training to parents, students, and pediatricians
- Expand school-based health centers to develop mental health programming
- Create a state oversight and coordination of a state response to kids' mental health needs
It is more important than ever that we continue to invest in mental health. As many state legislatures across the country cut funding for these vital services, in Connecticut, we chose to make critical investments in mental health for our state’s future.