enroll in american college of healthcare sciences programs today picture of graduate

May 11, 2018 8:35:14 AM | holistic health remedies Mental Health Awareness for Holistic Health (Updated May 2024)

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Not sure how to get involved? Start with simple ways to practice and educate others about mental health awareness.

Why Does Mental Health Matter, and What Can We Do About It?

For many of us, mental health often takes a backseat in our pursuit of holistic health. But we must remember that holistic health refers to caring for the whole person: body + mind + spirit. We cannot forget the mind and spirit elements of the wellness triad.

According to Mental Health America, 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health condition in any given year, and about half of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their lives. Mental health matters for all of us.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Past to Present

The first Mental Health Awareness Month began in America in 1949. It now reaches millions of people in the U.S. through screenings, local events, and media outreach.

Preparations begin mid-March when Mental Health America releases toolkits with materials to prepare community outreach activities. During May, Mental Health America works in conjunction with other organizations to offer numerous activities. These activities serve to increase general awareness regarding mental illnesses, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These programs work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and discuss the realities of living with these conditions. They also provide people with strategies to maintain and support mental wellness.

The Team Behind Mental Health Awareness Month

While Mental Health America is an integral part of supporting Mental Health Awareness Month, many other organizations get involved. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is releasing a toolkit and a planner to focus on different topics each week in May. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is running the Take the Moment campaign to foster open dialogues around mental health and support.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2024

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Month is Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World. This May, the toolkits and workshops are going to address the ways our changing world can be overwhelming and how to manage the changes in a healthy way.

Feeling out of control in the world doesn’t have to mean the end of your mental well-being. This May, we’ll all learn how to start our mental health journeys on the right foot.

Mental Health America Conference

Mental Health America hosts a yearly conference about mental health outreach and how to grow it in your community. The 2024 theme is Disrupt, Transform, Reform. During this conference, the public will be educated on how to disrupt systemic barriers, reform harmful practices, and transform the current mental landscape of their communities.

The conference will also cover major points such as:

  • Community Responses to Disaster and Humanitarian Crises
  • Local Solutions to Equity Needs
  • Substance Use and Mental Health
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Youth and Young Adults

This conference will focus overall on innovations in emerging mental health trends and ways advocacy and support can be extended to all communities.

ACHS’s Holistic Approach for Mental Health Support

This May, ACHS is doing its part by educating our community about holistic practices that support mental health. Taking care of the mind is part of taking care of the whole body, and here’s how our holistic health practices incorporate that mindset.

Health Coaching

Research indicates that health coaching is effective in supporting stress, anxiety, and depression. Health coaching can positively impact mental health by assisting individuals in building coping strategies, enhancing self-esteem, and fostering resilience. Skills gained from coaching can serve as life-long resources for sustaining and elevating your mental wellness7


Ongoing anxiety and chronic stress can lead to a number of serious physical and mental health issues. Reducing stress is critical for maintaining mental well-being, and one way to reduce that stress is a regular massage practice. Massage decreases stress levels and offers a wide range of other health benefits that facilitate wellness.


As many allopathic and holistic health experts know, exercise plays a key role in optimizing mental health. Exercise provides a variety of benefits, including the release of serotonin. Serotonin promotes feelings of peace and happiness and counteracts stress and anxiety. Its effects on preventing or mitigating depression and anxiety disorders have been confirmed and experts are pushing to integrate it into clinical practice.

If the gym isn’t for you, nature can provide an even better location to engage in exercise. A weekly hike, an outdoor yoga session, or a bike ride in the park can give you exercise, serotonin, and vitamin D exposure to support and improve health.


Meditation is an empowering mental practice that alleviates stress while promoting enhanced memory and clearer thinking. With evidence of meditation programs helping participants improve anxiety, depression, and pain, it is quickly becoming a major element of a healthy mental practice.

Getting started with meditation can be as easy as calmly repeating a word or phrase of affirmation, such as “I am enough.” This is mantra meditation, but there are many other styles and formats that you can try. Find one that works for you! If you have five minutes free, you can even get started now.

Make a Mental Impact This May

Now that Mental Health Awareness Month is here, the best place to start is with your own mental well-being. You can also practice advocacy by reaching out to the people around you; the organizations listed above have easy-to-read toolkits to get you and your group started.

If we truly value a holistic approach to our health, we must treat mental health with the same weight as every other piece of our wellness puzzle.

To learn more about how holistic health and wellness interact with mental health, you can check out ACHS’s online class, Stress Management and Emotional Health Online. To start a career in holistic and mental health development, you can explore our Associate of Applied Science in Health and Wellness program, which takes a mind + body + spirit approach to wellness education.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a guest blogger for the American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Lindsay Engle

Written By: Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Marketing Specialist at MedicareFAQ, a learning resource center for Medicare beneficiaries. Lindsay loves working in the senior healthcare industry. Aside from her job, she has a great passion for animals and loves boating. In her spare time, she enjoys snuggling on the couch with her pets as well as fishing with her boyfriend.