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National Silence the Shame Day – May 5, 2023

National Silence the Shame Day has been observed on May 5 every year since 2017. It’s a chance to bring positive awareness about mental health to a wider audience as well as erase the stigma associated with it. The Hip-Hop Foundation, led by former music executive Shanti Das, founded ‘Silence the Shame,’ a mental health education and awareness non-profit group. Activities like outreach programs and wellness training hope to ease the shame associated with mental illness as well as provide mental well-being support. This gave birth to National Silence the Shame Day.

History of National Silence the Shame Day

Having good mental health doesn’t just mean you don’t have any mental disorders. It is also determined by our ability to cope with stress, relate to others, work productively, and contribute to the community. It’s important at every stage in life, from childhood to adulthood.

Both mental and physical health are equally essential factors in determining our overall health. A person’s mental health can vary over time. For example, depression can increase the risk for various types of physical health problems, like heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic physical conditions may lead to mental illness. Poor mental health can result when someone is unable to cope with the demands of life, such as economic difficulties or working long hours.

Mental illnesses are one of the most common health issues we face today. A report prepared by the U.S.-based Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that one out of 20 adults experiences serious mental illness each year. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at least one in every 25 American lives with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia. Chemical imbalances in the brain, adverse experiences, such as trauma or abuse, chronic medical conditions, and feelings of isolation can cause mental illnesses. Many experiencing mental health challenges don’t have access to affordable care. Those who may have access suffer quietly due to the stigma involved. That’s why education and awareness is vital to help those who suffer in silence get the help they need.

National Silence the Shame Day timeline

December 6, 2004
The Suicide Hotline is Launched

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is established by SAMHSA.

April 2017
Sing this Number

American rapper Logic releases a song titled ‘1-800-273-8255,’ the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline to bring awareness to the hotline and the problems connected to suicide.

2020
A Leading Cause of Death

Suicide is among the top nine leading causes of death for Americans aged 10 to 64 years old.

2021
Partners in Silencing the Shame

The Sony Music Publishing company teams up with Silence the Shame on a program that brings mental health resources to its employees.

National Silence the Shame Day FAQs

Is poor mental health and mental illness the same?

Often used interchangeably, they’re not the same. You can experience poor mental health yet not be diagnosed with a mental illness. A person diagnosed with a mental illness can have periods of mental, physical, and social well-being.

How can you improve your day-to-day emotional health?

Little things can boost your emotional health like getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a balanced diet, and taking breaks when you need to. Practicing gratitude and talking to positive people can help as well.

What are some of the signs of mental illness?

Watch out for dramatic changes in sleeping or eating patterns. Extreme mood swings, excessive paranoia or anxiety, sadness that doesn’t go away, and social withdrawal can also be tell-tale signs.

How to Observe National Silence the Shame Day

  1. Read up on mental health issues

    Learn more about mental health conditions. Education and awareness can help you identify any issues in yourself or others in order to get proper treatment early on.

  2. Request a mental health assessment

    Feel like something’s off? If you feel like you may be experiencing some mental health challenges, ask your doctor to schedule an assessment.

  3. Schedule self-care

    Setting aside time for a hobby you enjoy or a massage can do wonders for your mental health and wellness.

5 Myths About Mental Illness

  1. People with it have low intelligence

    Just like any physical illness, mental illness can affect people of any age, intelligence, social class, or income level.

  2. Bad parenting causes mental conditions in adolescents

    Poverty, unemployment, violence, migration, and other adverse circumstances may influence the mental health of adolescents, their caregivers, and the relationship between them.

  3. It is a sign of weakness

    People don’t choose to have a mental illness and it’s not connected to being weak or lacking willpower.

  4. Mental health disorders are rare

    Actually, mental health issues are very common, affecting millions of people worldwide.

  5. You can’t get better

    Treatment with therapy and medication can help people better manage their symptoms, and some mental health disorders may also go away with time.

Why National Silence the Shame Day is Important

  1. It talks about an often taboo subject

    Mental health is either dismissed or swept under the rug. This day is for talking about a condition that affects more people than we are aware of.

  2. It was founded by someone in the same shoes

    Shanti Das, the woman behind the Hip Hop Foundation and Silence the Shame program, also suffered poor mental health herself. She empathizes with those whom the program tries to help.

  3. It makes you stronger

    People can be judgemental. Admitting you have a mental health issue takes courage. In the long run, being honest about it can get you the help you need.

National Silence the Shame Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 5Friday
2024May 5Sunday
2025May 5Monday
2026May 5Tuesday
2027May 5Wednesday

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