May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., a time to educate others and raise awareness about mental health and the burgeoning mental health crisis. The stigma of mental illness continues to be prevalent and with limited access to mental health professionals, children and adults struggle without support, frequently feeling alone and not good enough.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. As noted on their website, “Together, we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness.” The theme for this year is More than Enough. NAMI encourages everyone to celebrate themselves and to know that they are more than enough and post comments on social media using the hashtag #MoreThanEnough.
There has been an increase in the requests for ADHD coaches since COVID and JST graduates often share that clients need therapy or medication in addition to coaching but cannot find mental health professionals in their area. Coaches do provide support and structure in a safe space, but coaches are NOT mental health professionals. The International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics states that coaches “Remain alert to indications that there might be a shift in the value received from the coaching relationship. If so, make a change in the relationship or encourage the Client(s)/Sponsor(s) to seek another coach, seek another professional or use a different resource.”
It is important for all of us to pay attention to those who are struggling or hiding their struggles by isolating, sleeping, self-medicating or self-harming. When you notice changes in a family member, friend, client, or co-worker, don’t ignore it. Meet for coffee, take a walk, share a story, send a heart emoji and just BE THERE. Oftentimes words are not necessary, and silence is appreciated. Encourage them to reach out for professional help with a reminder that they are #MoreThanEnough.