People sitting on the ground
May 25, 2023

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

Mental health is how we think, feel, and act. It’s an important part of our overall health and social-emotional wellbeing, as well as a core component of our identity.

This May, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is partnering with Aetna Better Health® of Illinois to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month by fostering conversations about the importance of mental health and wellness. 

Here are the facts: 

  • Mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices and is even intertwined with our physical health. 
  • We all have mental health, not just those who live with mental illness.
  • Mental health can change (positively or negatively) over time. Things such as physical health, genetics, lifestyle, or past trauma can all affect our mental health.
  • Our mental health is often shaped by our social, economic, and physical environments. Social and systemic inequalities are associated with increased risk factors for common mental disorders. 
  • Nearly 1 in 5 American adults each year will have a diagnosable mental health condition.
  • We can take steps to improve our mental health. Developing healthy relationships, mindfulness, physical activity, and other self care techniques can boost our mental health. 
  • It’s important to reach out for help through your community and from mental health professionals.
  • Supporting our friends and family can reduce the risk and impact of mental illness, help provide early intervention, and improve the process of healing and recovery. Here are a few tips.
  • We can play a larger role in improving the mental health of our community through community care. Responses that bridge gaps in resources due to inequities (e.g. peer support, mutual aid, trauma-informed approaches) can improve the health of our whole community.

Here at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, we know that improving the mental and physical health of our communities is an essential part of our mission: strengthening community by connecting all people to their purpose, potential, and each other. Whether it's through youth violence prevention, a healthy work environment, promoting health and fitness, or providing a space to gather with family and friends (or make new friends!), the Y is here for our community — and we’re here for you.

Check out our core programs and community services designed to strengthen your body and your mind. And learn more about how Aetna Better Care® of Illinois can help you and your family find a provider and the resources you need to take the next steps in your mental health journey.

In Partnership With