Each year, May is declared Mental Health Awareness Month.

This serves as an opportunity to discuss mental health issues, reduce stigmas that can prevent people from seeking help and highlight resources available for those in need of support. People should familiarize themselves with vital services being offered in their communities.

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The pre-pandemic, decades-long efforts to reduce mental health stigmas were largely effective. Then, the pandemic, itself, and its mental health fallout, had the effect of reducing them further. Granted, continued efforts are necessary.

Today, Americans are less encumbered by stigmas while, at the same time, alarmingly burdened by a host of mental health conditions. If you talk to the average person, you're not likely to hear mental health stigmas in their words. You're more likely to hear: I can't find a practitioner that will see me... and their frustration, worry and discontent will be palpable.

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