May 2020 National Observances and Awareness: Focusing on What We CAN Do

May 2020 National Observances and Awareness: Focusing on What We CAN Do

May is a “Happening” Month in 2020! In these uncertain times it is often easy to feel helpless and hopeless. Doing something that contributes to the common good – whether it is connected with work or not – can lift our spirits and provide purpose and meaning in our lives. Here are just a few of the observances and some practical suggestions for making a difference during the month of May.

Mental Health Month: “Tools 2 Thrive” –  Everyone faces challenges from day to day that may impact mental health and 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime. This year’s toolkit includes printable handouts, social media and web components, media materials, additional resources, and a bonus COVID-19 infographic. During Mental Health Month you might use the 2020 Mental Health Month Toolkit to learn about:

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day – “SAMHSA created National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) more than a decade ago to shine a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child’s mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.” The observance was started to increase public awareness about the needs of children with serious mental illness (SMI) and severe emotional disturbance (SED), to provide information on evidence-based practices for their families, and to assist help-seeking behaviors for those who need it. The first Awareness Day event was held in Washington, DC in 2005 to support community level efforts. Some things you can do this month to support your community in responding to the mental health needs of children are:

National Prevention Week (NPW) – SAMHSA’s next NPW is May 10-16, 2020. Each year around this observance, communities and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. Things you can do to observe NPW include:

National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) is May 10-16 – NWHW is a reminder for women and girls to take care of their health. If you are a woman or girl you can take the following steps from the Office on Women’s Health to take care of your body and mind:

To support women and girls that you care about, you can participate in National Women’s Health Week, too by:

  • Sharing what steps you’re taking for good health at every age. Use our social media and promotional tools. Use #NWHW and #FindYourHealth in any social media messages you share.
  • Organizing events or activities in your community.
  • Using the online tool for customized tips to improve your healthy eating and physical activity habits.
  • Sharing the tool with your friends and family to help them take the next step on their personal health journeys.

Additional ways to observe this important awareness event include:

Accessing informative articles from the CASAT OnDemand Catalyst Blog. Choose from among the weekly posts from the past two years by selecting from 77 behavioral health categories, such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Awareness Events, Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), COVID-19, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), Suicide, and Stress Prevention and Management. Or find materials and links on the Resources & Downloads page. Take advantage of the many trainings offered by CASAT Training scheduled live online webinars or self-paced, online videos. Live offerings for May include:

How will you or your organization participate in these observances? Share in the comments below or submit your event in the Community Event Calendar.

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