National Anxiety and Depression Awareness WeekThe first week in May—technically May 2 through May 8—is this year’s National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week. This is a real blessing for those who may struggle with these mental health conditions—a blessing, and an opportunity. Anxiety and depression disorders are common, yet they also remain mired in stigma. Simply put, most of us are afraid to talk about them. Awareness Week, though, provides an invaluable opportunity to speak up, to tell your story, to break the stigma, and to start the conversation. The question is, what could you do for National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week? What should you do? First, be attentive to your own mental health. Have you been screened for depression and anxiety? If not, now is the ideal time. A screening is free, easy and quick, and can provide you with useful insights into your own well-being. Note that if you have an eating disorder, you are at a higher risk for anxiety and depression. Also, talk to your friends and family. Speak from the heart; share your own experience. Tell them how important mental healthcare is, and encourage them to get screened themselves, if they have not already. Some other ways to honor National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week include:
- Educate yourself; read up about these conditions.
- Offer to share your story at a local support group.
- Post something about your experience on Facebook or Twitter.
- Above all, do not remain silent! Seize this opportunity to talk openly and fearlessly about mental health.