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May is Mental Health Awareness Month... and other May awareness observances

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In our society of information overload, it has become popular for those seeking to educate the public about a topic or draw attention to their issues to create an awareness campaign. These are often used to help raise money or to lobby for support. This month, the President has declared it to be Mental Health Awareness Month, reminding the public of the expansion of mental health coverage in plans available under the Affordable Care Act.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

"Despite great strides in our understanding of mental illness and vast improvements in the dialogue surrounding it, too many still suffer in silence. Tens of millions of Americans face mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to building our understanding of mental illness, increasing access to treatment, and ensuring those who are struggling to know they are not alone."

May is also a month used to bring attention to a variety of other health issues and illnesses. One could quickly become a hypochondriac after reading about all the potential maladies that afflict Americans. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with concern about all the health challenges people are facing it would be wise to just focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing balance in one's life. We can be aware that life provides many challenges, and that people are often seeking support and compassion. However, we can't help every person or cause that comes into our awareness.

When you or a family member, friend, or other associate has an illness it can be helpful to understand more about it. There are many resources to learn about any health topic, particularly with the growth of online websites and reference materials. Organizations that are promoting awareness campaigns may be a place to begin exploring, though you will often find more in-depth and comprehensive resources at other sites. One of the most valuable things to be aware of is that as human beings our awareness is always relatively limited. With our limited understanding there is always much that we can learn and much that we may think we know that will turn out to be inaccurate.

Here is a list of health and illness related observances for the month of May:

Celiac Awareness Month:
http://www.celiaccentral.org/awarenessmonth/
Brain Tumor Awareness Month:
http://www.abta.org/get-involved/brain-tumor-awareness-month.html
Borderline Personality Disorder Month:
http://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/
Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month:
http://www.cff.org/aboutCFFoundation/NewsEvents/2011NewsArchive/5-2-Making-a-Difference-During-CF-Awareness-Month.cfm
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Awareness Month:
http://web.alsa.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=155203.0
Arthritis Awareness Month:
www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/arthritis.html
National Fibromyalgia Awareness:
www.fmcpaware.org/community/awareness-day-2014.html
Global Employee Health & Fitness Month:
http://www.healthandfitnessmonth.com/
Huntington's Disease Awareness Month:
www.hdsa.org/mayawareness.html
Lupus Awareness Month:
http://www.lupus.org/action/put-on-purple
Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month:
http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=10&sub=99&cont=457
Hepatitis Awareness Month:
http://www.liverfoundation.org/chapters/ham/
Neurofibromatosis (NF) Awareness Month:
http://www.ctf.org/
Lyme Disease Awareness Month:
http://www.lyme.org/
Meditation Month:
http://www.mindfulinmay.org/
Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month:
http://nof.org/
Stroke Awareness Month:
http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aware_history
Skin Cancer Awareness Month:
http://www.skincancer.org/

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