Welcome to Mental Health Month!

This is an exciting time for all of us here at Peak as we celebrate the importance of mental wellness, taking care of your emotional well-being, and working to break the stigma of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

So how can we all help reduce the stigma and make sure mental wellness is at the forefront of our daily lives? NAMI, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, offers these 9 suggestions on how to fight mental health stigma:

Talk openly about mental health. The more we talk about it, the more people will get comfortable hearing about it. Let's all make a conscious effort to talk openly and honestly with our friends and family about our emotions, feelings and mental health.

Educate yourself and others. Often what we think about is pre-shaped by society, media and marketing. How can you challenge your own beliefs? Take the time to educate yourself on various aspects of mental health, and share those things you learn with others, too.

Be conscious of language. Humans are very social creatures, and we often pick up on the language of others without realizing the things we say might be stigmatizing or hurting others. While this incredible way to learn and grow has evolved over millions of years, it can also mean that we pick up bad habits, too. Every so often, challenge the language you are using, and see if there's a better way to frame your conversations around mental illness.

Encourage equality between physical and mental illness. Our mental health suffers when our physical health is poor, and our physical health suffers when our mental health is poor, too. We need to be sure that both hold equal weight when it comes to our overall health and well-being.

Choose empowerment over shame. Treatment works. You should never be ashamed of your diagnosis or treatment. Let's stand up and be proud that treatment allows us to live a full, happy and healthy life. Let's walk the road to recovery with hope in our hearts and smiles on our faces.

Be honest about treatment. Just like treatment for some of our physical ailments, treatment for some of our mental ailments is not talked about as often as it should be. Let people know what treatment is like, especially if you are are currently in treatment or have been in the past.

Let the media know when they're being stigmatizing. Just like individuals, the media can sometimes use language that is familiar without realizing it is stigmatizing. If you see something, don't be afraid to speak up. More of the time, people are not even aware that the way they phrased something was inappropriate.

Don't harbor self stigma. It's important to remember not to stigmatize yourself, either! You should never let your mental illness or treatment hold you back. Reach out for help, get the treatment you need, and live your live with purpose to show others you can live a meaningful life even while battling a mental illness.

In addition to these tips, we created a Mental Health Month wellness calendar! Take a little time each day to do something that feeds your mental wellness and emotional health. You can use our suggestions below, or make up your own to help maintain a strong connection to between mind, body and spirit.