Advice and Insights May 10, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Month 2016: 'Life with a Mental Illness'

We're in the midst of Mental Health Awareness Month 2016, a month-long campaign organized by Mental Health America (MHA) and its affiliates nationwide to spread awareness of the prevalence and damage that the many forms of mental illness inflict on people worldwide, each and every day.

Now in its seventh decade, the MHA began observing Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949, creating what's eventually become not just an American but a global phenomenon, embraced by practitioners, patients, and all other members of society.

#MentalIllnessFeelsLike: Mental Health Awareness Month 2016

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Month is "Life with a Mental Illness," and the MHA is calling on individuals "to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously).

#MentalIllnessFeelsLike: 2016 Mental Health Awareness MonthThe MHA is sharing those social media posts with the world on MentalHealthAmerica.net/FeelsLike, a website devoted to letting individuals share their thoughts and experiences about mental illness anonymously. The site is already up and running in full force, offering a galaxy of personal stories, photos, videos, drawings, poems, and other forms of expression and inspiration about topics ranging from general mental health awareness to specific issues like anxiety, trauma, art therapy, the stress of higher education, and various paths to recovery. Even if you prefer not to participate in social media, we suggest checking it out.

Nationwide Locum Tenens Psychiatry And Mental Health Assignments

For psychiatric healthcare professionals interested in helping combat the scourge of mental illness in the U.S., we can connect you with locum tenens positions in facilities throughout the country.

Indeed, the need for qualified professionals to fill locums roles is greater than ever. Dr. Tom Insel, MD, Director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), reported in 2011 of the "disturbing trend ... in the supply of psychiatrists and overall quality of mental healthcare nationwide."

"This emerging crisis is due to a multitude of factors," the authors add, "including an aging psychiatrist population, a small percentage of medical school graduates choosing psychiatry residency programs (4%), and mental healthcare models that operate 'like a bus station,' stressing patient volume over value of care."

Echoing almost to the letter the efforts of this year's 2016 Mental Health Awareness Month, the authors go on to explain that the "lack of emphasis given to the psychiatry shortage is partially rooted in pervasive stigmas about mental illness in the United States.

"Those suffering from depression and other forms of mental illness frequently are reluctant to discuss their problems and are often reluctant to seek treatment. While the symptoms of those with heart, lung, orthopedic or other physiological problems typically are readily apparent, the symptoms of those with psychological problems often are not."

If you'd like to help combat America's ongoing mental health epidemic, we encourage you to search for available psychiatric and mental health positions here. We also hope you'll help us spread the word about Mental Health Awareness Month 2016 on social media — you can find us at FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus and YouTube.

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