May 04

Mental Health Month

Science Fact

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

One in five Americans has a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year, and half of all Americans will have one sometime in their lifetime.

Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all. The 2018 theme is "Fitness #4Mind4Body," which calls attention to the need to be healthy both physically and mentally. In association with the theme, Mental Health America is running the #4Mind4Body Challenge throughout the month, where participants complete a small task each day in May–and share them on social media using #4Mind4Body.

We hope these resources will help you explore this important and often stigmatized issue with your class. In our Mental Health series of lessons, students can get an introduction and historical overview of the study of human behavior in Mental Health 1: Human Behavior, take a look inside Bedlam, the world’s first mental health asylum in Mental Health 2: Bedlam, and examine how mental illness has been portrayed in the arts with Mental Health 3: Mental Health through Literature. In the lesson Genes, Environments, and Behavior 1, students examine behavioral genetics, the study of reciprocating influences of genes and environments on behavior.

The series The Laughing Brain 1: How We Laugh and The Laughing Brain 2: A Good Laugh looks at various theories about laughter, laughter’s effects on our mental health, and the benefits of laughter to our immune system. Your class also can listen to these related Science Update podcasts: Katrina Mental Health, Adapative HappinessEmotion Perception, Depression Prevention Training, Brilliance Stereotypes, Adolescent Anxiety, and Schizophrenia & Creativity.

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