Hailey + Vincent
Background of Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 by the Mental Health America (MHA) organization.
With the encouragement of the Mental Health Awareness Month, there has been countless successes in efforts and goals.
Outside of HK
The US Department of Health and Human Services now provides a “one-stop access” (mentalhealth.gov) to mental health information, with helplines, resources, and more. Furthermore, the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Suicide Prevention Program was also established by Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, after his son passed in 2004 due to suicide.
In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) also grew and became the UK’s biggest health website, with more than 50 million visits every month. They are constantly growing, renewing, and changing – recently changing their approach to tackle mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mental health organizations in HK are growing, and doing more than just performative activism.
Mind HK, a mental health charity launched in November 2017, started working on campaigns such as “#HowOkayAreYou” in 2019 and “Move it for Mental Health” in 2020.
Furthermore, the Advisory Committee on Mental Health launched a “Shall We Talk” initiative in July 2020, with the objectives of:
Increasing public engagement in promoting mental well-being
Enhancing public knowledge about mental health with a view to encourage help-seeking and early intervention
Reducing stigma towards people with mental illness
The C&A Expert Groups of Hong Kong also consider this Three-Tier Stepped Care Model necessary for the “enhance(ment) (of) coordination among tiers”
Main aims / goals / overarching themes for 2022
According to MHA, this year’s overarching theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is “Back to Basics”. (The Mental Health Foundation also sets up Mental Health Awareness Week - May 9-15 - themes, with Loneliness being the main theme this year)
“After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing
that stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being.
This year, the theme of MHA’s 2022 Mental Health Month Toolkit is "Back to Basics." Our goal is to provide foundational knowledge about mental health & mental health conditions and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.
❞ - Mental Health America