May is Mental Health Month, sponsored by Mental Health America (MHA)! For more than a century, MHA has focused on community-level efforts to promotion the mental well-being of Americans. This year’s campaign is B4Stage4, encouraging people to be screened early to identify mental health or psychiatric disabilities such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other conditions. Early identification and intervention can mean staying in school or keeping a job, maintaining a stable family and home life, even saving a life. This infographic from MHA breaks down the early warning signs, the stages of living with mental health conditions, and the potential costs of waiting too long to get help.
The NIDILRR community offers excellent tools, resources, and research on mental health and psychiatric disabilities. Here are a few items you can use in your Mental Health Month observances:
- Promoting Wellness for People in Mental Health Recovery – A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning and Conducting a Successful Health Fair (PDF) from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions takes you from planning to staffing to promoting your health fair. Be sure to visit their website for many, many, MANY more tools and information resources
- Check out these Self-determination and self-directed care resources from the RRTC on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities from one-page guides to full manuals.
- Individuals who have experienced traumatic brain injury may face depression during their continued recovery. This Hot Topic Module on Depression after TBI from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center covers signs and symptoms of depression, and discussed treatment options.
- Young people with mental health disorders often struggle with substance abuse and vice versa. The Pathways RTC shares research and resources on co-occurring disorders in this issue of Focal Point (PDF).
- The RRTC on Community Living dedicated an entire issue of its Focus newsletter for Direct Support Professionals to the topic of psychiatric disability, offering various perspectives related to providing effective supports for individuals with “dual diagnoses,” meaning people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who also have psychiatric disabilities.
- Does where you live impact your experience of disability? The Rural RTC found that people living in rural areas have higher rates of disability, and less access to services, leading to greater risk of secondary mental health conditions. See more in this report on Secondary Mental Health Conditions Reported by Rural Adults with Mobility and Sensory Impairments.
These are just a few examples of research and resources mental health, both as a disability and as a secondary condition. Our collection includes thousands of reports, journal articles, books, and multimedia selections on a range of topics relating to mental health. Try these links to explore more:
- Mental health AND screening – NIDILRR
- Mental health AND screening – other sources
- Dual diagnoses AND (psychiatric OR developmental OR intellectual OR substance) – NIDILRR
- Dual diagnoses AND (psychiatric OR developmental OR intellectual OR substance) – other sources
- Mental health AND youth in transition – NIDILRR
- Mental health AND youth in transition – other sources
- Exercise/Wellness/Fitness AND mental health – NIDILRR [because it’s still Physical Fitness and Sports Month]
- Exercise/Wellness/Fitness AND mental health – other sources
- Aging AND mental health – NIDILRR [because it’s also still Older Americans Month]
- Aging AND mental health – other sources
These and more are available from our collection. Learn more about advanced search techniques or get in touch with an information specialist to craft your search strategy or order any documents you find in your explorations!