There are a number of awareness weeks that commemorate issues related to mental health and mental illness. Below are just a few of them.
Mental Health Week: May 6 - 12, 2013
We want you to take steps to be more mentally healthy every week -- but during Mental Health Week we place a focused effort on raising awareness and providing extra, exciting community resources to educate and connect you to things that can help. This year, our emphasis is on Youth Mental Health. RSS and Mt. Boucherie are joining with us to bring information and generate discussion among their youth. We're excited to hear Margaret Trudeau talk about her journey on May 4th. We're also holding a Mood Food evening (May 7th) to learn about the connection between nutrition and mental health; We're particiapting in the Community Resource Event on May 8th at Trinity Church from 1:30 - 4 pm, and there's much more! Our full list of activities are coming soon.
Since 1951, the national office of the Canadian Mental Health Association has commemorated Mental Health Week. The week is an annual event where CMHA branches and divisions across the country bring the mental health message to the broader community. It is designed as a celebration of mentally healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes, as well as a source of information and support. For Mental Health Week, CMHA branches in BC have organized presentations, pancake breakfasts, thrift store sales, craft fairs, kite-flying events, barbecues, fun runs, yoga fests and other community events right across the province. Mental Health Week is the first full week of May from Monday to Sunday.
Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 7-13, 2013
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) carries on where Mental Health Week leaves off by focusing attention on mental disorders: signs and symptoms, how to get help, stigma, hope and recovery, and the impact of mental illness on lives, families, workplaces and society. MIAW was initially spearheaded by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and is now an education project of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, a national fifteen-member alliance of organizations representing the entire mental health-illness continuum. Mental Illness Awareness Week is always the first full week of October. Depression Anxiety Screening and Education Day across BC is always held on the Thursday of Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Other weeks, months or special days related to mental health include:
Alzheimer's Awareness Month (January)
Eating Disorders Awareness Week (first week of February)
World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10)
Bipolar Disorder Awareness Day (October 9)
World Mental Health Day (October 10)
Addictions Awareness Week (third week of November)
National Suicide Survivors' Day (Saturday before American Thanksgiving) (note that in the suicide prevention field, "survivor" refers to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, not someone who has attempted suicide and 'survived')