Migraine and Mental Health Awareness Month

Those of us who deal with Migraine disease often find ourselves dealing with comorbid mental health conditions as well, so it’s fitting that we recognize and observe Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM).

Mental Health Awareness Month began in 1949, sponsored by Mental Health America to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for everyone. This year, they have designated two themes for MHAM:

Mental Health Awareness MonthDo More for 1 in 4 is a call to action to help the one in four adult Americans living with a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition and the fact that they can indeed live full and productive lives. Some key points of the Do More for 1 in 4 theme:

  • Mental health conditions are treatable.
  • Many people living with a mental health condition. possibly as many as 50%, never seek or get help due to a lack of information, the cost, lack of insurance coverage, or the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
  • Many people who need help may be afraid to ask or not know where to find it, but there are many community and national resources available.
  • The federal mental health parity act now requires employers of 50 or more employers who offer health insurance coverage for mental health conditions to cover them at the same level as other medical conditions.

Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds brings attention to the impact of traumatic events on both individuals and communities. It’s based on asking the person-based question, “What happened to you?” Mental Health America has set several key messages for this theme:

  • The aftermath of trauma is costly to victims and to the whole community.
  • Healing from trauma is possible. Validating the trauma and establishing trust and safety are the first steps.
  • Trauma survivors need healing, not just treatment.
  • Addressing trauma is key to successfully treating self-harming and risky behaviors.
  • Coercive and disempowering practices in traditional behavioral health treatment and in schools, correctional facilities, foster care, jails and prisons can re-victimize trauma survivors.
  • Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives and treats symptoms as reflecting this experience.
  • Screening for trauma is essential, especially for high-risk and vulnerable populations. The key question to ask is “what happened to you?” not “what’s wrong with you?” Mental health systems, correctional systems, and other local human service agencies are revamping practices to adopt trauma-informed care.
  • Data supports the need for broad-based programs and policies that help to reduce child maltreatment as well as enhance positive family functioning.

Mental Health Awareness Month for Migraineurs:

In addition to the themes established by Mental Health America, this is a good time for Migraineurs to take a good look at our own mental health. It’s well established that Migraine and some mental health conditions including depression and anxiety disorders are frequently comorbid. If we’ve been diagnosed with one of these disorders, this is a good time to evaluate our treatment and be sure it’s working well. If we haven’t been diagnosed, but feel we have symptoms of a mental health disorder, this is a perfect time to make an appointment to discuss the issue with our doctors. Remember – That 1 in 4 could be one of us!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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