Although Mental Health Month is coming to a close, we must prioritize our mental health all year round — something AMCHP strives to exemplify, as stated in our Commitment to Workplace Well-Being. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. Mental health is essential for overall health. AMCHP is committed to promoting and bolstering Title V’s role in supporting mental health across the life-course. AMCHP also recognizes the importance of creating healthy workplace environments to advance Title V mental health, including substance use disorder, initiatives.
Several organizations champion Mental Health Month activities, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Mental Health America. The theme of Mental Health America’s 2023 Mental Health Month campaign was: Look Around, Look Within. The theme challenges us to consider every part of our environment and its effect on our mental health and well-being.
This year, the Biden-Harris Administration released a comprehensive national strategy to tackle the nation’s mental health crisis and published a Mental Health Awareness Month proclamation, honoring the tens of millions of Americans living with mental health conditions and celebrating the loved ones and mental health professionals who are there for them every day. Additionally, several governors officially declared May as Mental Health Awareness Month nationwide.
Please explore the mental health activities AMCHP promoted in May and critical partner resources.
In Case You Missed It: 2023 Mental Health Month Activities
AMCHP Released Organizational Commitment to Workplace Well-Being
AMCHP is committed to reimagining the centrality of wellness in our work ecosystem and ways to shift organizational culture and policies to promote workplace well-being. View our Commitment to Workplace Well-Being and associated press release to learn more about our dedication to this work.
Mental Health at AMCHP 2023
AMCHP provided a Wellness Guide for in-person and virtual AMCHP 2023 conference attendees. The guide included a brief wellness check survey tool to encourage attendees to recognize their limits and make a plan to manage their mental health and well-being throughout the conference. See the word clouds below to view a summary of the survey responses:
Additionally, AMCHP distributed green Mental Health Awareness Month wristbands to all in-person attendees.
Youth Mental Health Presentations
AMCHP 2023 featured several mental health presentations by youth and young adult leaders. The closing plenary session Nurturing the Now featured youth keynote speakers from New Orleans Youth Alliance and EYE For Prevention from Denver, Colorado. Each keynote speaker shared how their organization supports youth mental health and how their involvement in the organization has improved their personal mental health and understanding of mental wellness.
Secondly, the Student and Early Career Professional Roundtable featured youth and young adult led presentations on the intersection of depression and autistic youth and ways for MCH systems to improve response to youth mental health from a nurse perspective.
Learn more about how to leverage the MCH block grant program to improve systems of mental health care for adolescents and young adults through AMCHP’s E-Learning Modules.
Mental Health Legislation Now Included in AMCHP’s Maternal & Child Health Bill Tracker
During Mental Health Month, legislators are motivated to shift our mental health culture from awareness to action. Accordingly, the Maternal & Child Health Bill Tracker now includes several mental health bills:
- Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act
- Helping Kids Cope Act
- Peer Education and Emergency Response for Mental Health Act or PEER Mental Health Act of 2023
- Kids Online Safety Act
- Protecting Young Minds Online Act
- Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act
- Higher Education Mental Health Act
- Mental Health in Schools Excellence Program Act of 2023
- Moms Matter Act (Title VII of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2023)
MCH Bridges Podcast Episode on Youth Perspectives on Mental Health: Supporting the Next Generation
In the newest MCH Bridges episode, three members of the Adolescent Champion Teen Advisory Council (TAC TAC), Melanie Avila, Fanta Guindo, and Yeina Han, share what adolescent and young adult mental health looks like in their communities, what they have experienced, and what needs to change.
Check out this and past MCH Bridges episodes on mental health on our MCH Bridges site.
- Episode 7: Maternal Health, Substance Use, and the Criminal Justice System
- Episode 8: Unaccompanied Immigrant Children and Mental Health
- Episode 10: Queering Perinatal Mental Health
- Episode 12: We Need to Start Talking About Stillbirth
Partner Mental Health Activities
In collaboration with George Washington University, the Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (formerly 2020 Mom) released the inaugural Maternal Mental Health State Report Cards at a congressional briefing. The report cards grade state efforts in addressing maternal mental health; the results show 42 states receiving a D or below.
The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families updated the Child Health Dashboard to include behavioral health data. Spotlights of states including Medicaid behavioral health data in their dashboards include Iowa, New Hampshire, and Virginia.
At the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mental Health Summit, Secretary Becerra announced new initiatives by the Biden-Harris Administration to increase access to mental health resources and support, including FindSupport.gov and the HHS Children and Youth Resilience Challenge.
The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline number has been changed. It is now: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262). The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline celebrated its first birthday on Mother’s Day, providing a 24/7 lifeline with free confidential support for pregnant and new mothers in English and Spanish.
Additional May Mental Health Observances
- Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month
- 5/1-5/5: Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week
- 5/3: World Maternal Mental Health Day
- 5/5: Pregnancy and Postpartum Psychosis Awareness Day
- 5/7-5/13: National Postpartum Awareness Week for Black, Brown, & Indigenous Birthing People
- 5/18: Mental Health Action Day
Keep up to date with AMCHP Mental Health resources, events, and news!
Explore AMCHP’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder webpage and check out the #AMCHPMentalHealth hashtag on Twitter. To contact AMCHP’s organization-wide Mental Health Team, email Amani Echols (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To receive updates on perinatal mental health and substance use, sign-up for the monthly PRISM Digest newsletter by emailing Jessica Simon (email@example.com).