Mental health awareness and support on a local level

Mental health in America is really a public health issue. 1 in 5 adults (46.6 million people) and up to 20% of children in the United States are dealing with some type of mental health problem.  How are healthcare organizations and communities working together to offer help, encouragement, and support to those in need? Let’s take a look.  

Raising awareness of mental health issues

In 1949, May was declared Mental Health Awareness month. The entire month is dedicated to raising awareness, support, and essential funding for mental health in America. Bringing attention to the need for ongoing support and community mental health services is critical as lack of access to care can have severe consequences, including suicide and/or jail time.  

The month of May is utilized by organizations to help raise awareness in their community of the different mental healthcare options that are available.  Many healthcare organizations offer free screenings through Mental Health Awareness month as well as organize fun events such as carnivals and 5K runs that promote Mental Health Awareness. 

PMH-APRN’s for mental healthcare

Many hospitals are recruiting PMH-APRNs to their teams in order to help alleviate the mental health in America crisis. A Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is a  Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) with advanced education in the mental health field. They can provide the specialized care that is needed for mental health problems, including: 

  • Patient education
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses 
  • Prescribe medication 
  • Order, perform, and/or read diagnostic tests and studies
  • Administrate preventive care
  • Perform exams
  • Perform procedures 

Having a PMH-APRN on board is a step in the right direction for healthcare organizations that are committed to changing the landscape of mental healthcare in the United States.

National mental health care on a local level

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has thousands of trained volunteers across the United States who bring peer-led programs to a local level. These programs include a NAMI Basics class designed for parents and caregivers of youth with mental health illnesses, Family to Family for family members and significant others of those with mental health issues, and others. There are also seminars and support groups offered. 

American Mental Wellness is another organization that offers programs and education on a local level. Programs such as Mental Health First Aid, an 8-hour course that teaches how to help in a mental health crisis, are equipping people with the information and resources that they need to help those around them.

Mental health in America is a public health issue, and with the public’s help, more people may be encouraged to seek the help and support they need.

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Laboratories and LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes. To learn more about Lifebrite Community Hospital of Early, visit our homepage


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