Mental Health Awareness Month: Early detection, stigma deflation, resource identification, and beyond

May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to prioritize understanding and advocating for mental well-being, and fostering open conversations about mental health. 

In North Carolina, where many individuals grapple with mental health challenges, providing key resources and support at the community level is critical. At Vaya Health, we firmly believe that proactive measures like mental health screenings play a crucial role in fostering wellness.

Mental health screenings are an effective way to check for signs of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Screenings can help with: 

  • Early detection: Screenings can help identify symptoms early, which leads to more effective management. 
  • Breaking stigma: Participating in screenings can help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, showing that it’s okay to seek help. 
  • Resource identification: Screenings can guide individuals to appropriate resources and support systems available in their area.

In addition to offering mental health screenings, Vaya emphasizes the importance of open conversations about mental health with loved ones. Although talking about mental health can be challenging,  it’s crucial for building supportive relationships and encouraging those in need to seek help. 

Whether you’re approaching a loved one, a colleague, or even addressing your needs, here are effective ways to start the conversation.

  • Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a quiet, private setting where you can talk without interruptions.
  • Be Direct but Gentle: Start by expressing your concern in a non-judgmental way. This approach shows empathy and openness without making assumptions. 
  • Listen Actively: Active listening is crucial. Show that you are engaged and empathetic by nodding, maintaining eye contact, and not interrupting while they speak.
  • Offer Support, Not Solutions: While it might be tempting to offer advice or solutions, it’s better to offer support and encourage them to seek professional help. Suggest options without pressure, and offer to help them research or find a mental health professional. 

Discussing mental health openly can also significantly impact someone’s willingness to seek help. By initiating these conversations, we can contribute to a more open and supportive community, encouraging individuals to seek the help they need without fear of judgment. 

For anyone in North Carolina struggling with mental health issues, remember that help is available, and recovery is possible. Self-care is essential for maintaining both mental and physical health. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for a healthy, fulfilling life. 

Visit Mental Health | Vaya Health to learn more about Vaya’s mental health awareness resources.

Need Help?

Finding care can be confusing sometimes. At Vaya Health, we make it easier. The process starts with a phone call to our Member and Recipient Services Line at

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