Yesterday, the Mayors of both Iowa City and Des Moines proclaimed May 18 to be Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying. In addition, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
The diversity committee coordinated with Kristin Wurster, our embedded counselor, to discuss both of these month-long celebrations. Read on and congratulations to those of you wrapping up this academic year. Summer is right around the corner.
AAPI Heritage Month
The image below shows the full AAPI Heritage month activities here at Iowa. We provided news of some of the events earlier, but there are two events remaining this month. Both events are virtual and the provided link is for their Zoom rooms. More detail will be distributed campus-wide soon. We encourage you to look at the events and hope you saw some of the earlier events.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, created to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental illness. Mental illness touches many of the people in our lives; the National Alliance on Mental Illness notes that:
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34
…and those stats were gathered before the pandemic, during which many people have reported worsening mental health, unwanted changes in sleep, increased alcohol consumption, financial stress, and a need for more emotional support (Stress in America, 2021). Mental health, like physical health, is deeply impacted by the context around us. If you have struggled more in the past year, you are not alone.
Mental Health America (MHA), the organization that initiated Mental Health Awareness Month, creates a themed toolkit each year containing information and practical strategies to support others as well as care for ourselves. This year’s toolkit is titled "Tools 2 Thrive." Below are select resources taken from MHA’s toolkit – you’ll find podcasts, articles, worksheets, and more. Please take time this month to learn more about mental health, care for yourself, and/or support those around you…and if you find yourself in need of more resources or support, please do not hesitate to reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Adapting After Trauma and Stress
- Protective Factors for Healing From Trauma In BIPOC Communities
- Owning Your Feelings & Moving Through Emotional Discomfort
Getting Out of Thinking Traps
Taking Time for Yourself/Self-Care
Dealing with Anger and Frustration