Mental Health Awareness Month: Prioritizing Mental Health at HealthCare Access Maryland

Every May, since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is observed. This time is used to raise awareness, fight stigma, start conversations, educate the public, provide support, and advocate for policies related to mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, plays a significant role in this campaign each year. NAMI provides resources and shares ways to get involved in the movement. 

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month theme is #MoreThanEnough. The More Than Enough campaign provides an opportunity for individuals to come together to remember the value that each of us holds, no matter our situation, our diagnosis, socioeconomic status, background, or ability. One of the main goals behind this campaign is to advocate for individuals and their mental health and to let people know that simply by waking up each morning, they are worthy, important, and that is more than enough. 

NAMI shares that millions of people are affected by mental health conditions each year, and that 22.8% of U.S. adults experienced a mental health condition in 2021 (57.8 million people), which represents 1 in 5 adults. This number shows how common mental health conditions are and how it can affect anyone, no matter their situation. 

HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM) recognizes the importance of accessible mental health services for everyone in our community, including our own team members. Workplaces can play an important role in supporting the mental health of their teams. HCAM has made it a priority to provide benefits to our staff that go above and beyond traditional healthcare. In addition an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which gives our staff and their household members access to free, confidential assistance to help with personal or professional problems, each of our 210-staff-members has a premium subscription to the Calm app. Calm, the world’s number one app for mental fitness, provides access to guided meditations, sleep stories, and music, with the goal of helping individuals improve their health and happiness. 

Our staff share how they use the Calm app and the benefits to their health and well-being:  

“I benefit from the quick reminder to breathe and check in with myself. I also like to use the quick mindfulness meditation that helps me to reset my day. It’s a powerful little tool that reminds me of the simple things that I have control over.”
-Rakia P. 

“I use the Calm App almost every day – I love the Sleep Stories and Sleep Meditations to unwind at the end of the day. I’ve also used the Soundscapes – the ambient noise is great for focus while writing!”
-Caitlin M. 

“I have used it for over a year at bedtime with my daughter. She often struggles to settle her mind. Years ago, we used it for bedtime stories, but most recently we have used more of the white noise, instrumental, and nature sounds.”
-Traci K. 

What is a self-care practice you can do during Mental Health Awareness Month? Check out this article from that lists 20 self-care ideas for when you need a mental boost. 

You can call or text 988 or chat for yourself or if you are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. 

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