May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Month, opens a new window.

In recognition of Mental Health Month, we have created some lists of library and online resources that may interest you. Please note: The information in this post and the items in these lists are intended for informational purposes and are not meant to take the place of visiting a physician or therapist.

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

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Is it possible to overcome the stigma associated with having a mental illness? We try to. Our hope is that the general public will be able to see a person, rather than an illness, when they meet someone who is experiencing a mental health disorder. One way to battle stigma is to share our experiences, like the authors of the items on this list have done. Doing so can bring awareness to people who may have misguided preconceptions or who know little or nothing about the reality of dealing with a mental illness. It's up to you to determine if you're ready to share your story. There's no guarantee it will be easy. You may feel that you'll never be ready to speak out about your experience. We understand how hard it can be. But if you are ready to share, you can do so either in person (one-on-one, in a small group, or even in a public presentation) or online (with or without attaching your full or real name to the post). 

Another way to combat stigma is to challenge a person's ideas when they express ignorance about a mental disorder or ridicule mental illness. These challenges can be difficult, but sharing some facts about mental illness (start here, opens a new window or here, opens a new window) can change a person's opinion. Educating yourself about the facts will help prepare you to challenge the flawed concepts of others. It may not always be practical to call someone out when you think they're wrong. It's important to remember to do what is comfortable and safe for you in these situations. 

Mental Illness - Memoirs

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True stories of real people living with mental health disorders, the people who love them, and the mental health care professionals who help them.

Mental Health - Additional Viewpoints

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Titles in this list discuss various unconventional ideas about causes of mental disorders and suggested treatments. Even though some of these ideas are not considered traditional, they may be informative and helpful for some people who are living with a mental disorder.

Mental Health Disorders: Past, Present and Future of Diagnoses and Treatments

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True stories, exposés, guides, and studies of the past, present and future of diagnoses and treatments for people with mental health disorders.

If you need help finding any of the items from these lists, please contact a St. Tammany Parish Library reference librarian, opens a new window.

Mental Health America offers immediate and long-term help if you're looking for mental health help for yourself, opens a new window or for someone else, opens a new window.

If you're interested in reading previous posts in our Mental Health Awareness series, please look at the column to the left of this panel and click on one of the links there.