NAMI Keystone PA Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month & TD Awareness Week in May,
Launches 2021 NAMIWalks Season
Pittsburgh - Before the pandemic, one in five people in the U.S. reported having a mental health condition. Now, the figure is two in five, or even higher. This May, for Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania, the state organization of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is raising awareness of mental health conditions and highlighting available resources, including virtual support groups.
“It’s been more than a year since the pandemic upended our everyday lives with feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and depression," said Christine Michaels, CEO of NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania. “The burden of living through a pandemic continues to impact our personal and professional relationships in unprecedented ways.”
The first week of May is also recognized as Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) Awareness Week. Tardive Dyskinesia is a condition of uncontrollable movements affecting the face, torso, or other body parts that may develop after a few months of taking certain medications to treat some mental health conditions.
“TD not only impacts people physically but emotionally and socially as well, so it’s important to raise awareness of the condition so people who have it know they are not alone,” said Michaels.
The NAMI You Are Not Alone campaign focuses on connecting people to resources or free online support groups, so no one struggles through this difficult time alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness through digital tools, such as social media platforms and the NAMI COVID-19 Information and Resource Guide. Collectively, we can help each other start to heal and find a path to recovery.
“Over the last year, we’ve experienced an unprecedented level of trauma, uncertainty, and isolation, but there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines," said Michaels. “We will continue as long as necessary to support people remotely with virtual support groups and resources to help them through these challenging times.”
During Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania is also launching its 2021 NAMIWalks season during NAMI’s United Day of Hope on May 22. Supporters are being urged to register their teams for NAMIWalks Keystone PA, which will take place virtually on October 9. NAMIWalks is an annual event that raises awareness and funds for mental health. Donations fund the programming that NAMI Keystone PA offers throughout the year at no cost to participants.