Mental Health Awareness in October

October is ADD/ADHD Awareness Month

Along with Advocacy & Awareness
for many other mental health issues

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the ADD/ADHD Cormidities series

It takes one person to make a difference —
just think of what thousands can do.

~ Psychology Today 2016 Awareness Calendar

Mark your blogging calendars

Each year is peppered with a great many special dates dedicated to raising awareness about important emotional, physical and psychological health issues. Scroll down for a list highlighting important days and weeks (and for the entire month) that impact mental health.

If I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments below so that I can add it to the list.

Attention Bloggers: If you write (or have written) an article that adds content to any of these categories, feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will move it into its appropriate category.

Also included on the list below are awareness and advocacy reminders for health problems that intersect, exacerbate or create problems with cognition, mood and attention management.

Up your ADD/ADHD Awareness

Many mental health & attentional challenges are NOT genetic

The attentional struggles you will most frequently hear or read about are exhibited by individuals diagnosed with one of the ADD/ADHD varietals, usually associated with a genetic component.

Related Post: ADD Overview-101

However, NOT ALL attentional & cognitive deficits are present from birth, waiting for manifestations of a genetic propensity to show up as an infant grows older – not by a long shot!

Almost everyone experiences situational deficits of attention and cognition any time the number of events requiring our attention and focus exceeds our ability to attend. Situational challenges are those transitory lapses that occur whenever our ability to attend is temporarily impaired – when there are too many items competing for focus at the same time.

As I began in Types of Attentional Deficits, problems with attention and cognition are accompanied by specific markers, regardless of origin or age of onset:

  • neuro-atypical changes in the pattern of brain waves,
  • the location of the area doing the work of attention and cognition,
  • and the neural highways and byways traveled to get the work done.

In addition to the challenges that accompany neuropsychiatric issues and age-related cognitive decline, a currently unknown percentage of attentional deficits are those that are the result of damage to the brain.

Many ways brains can be damaged

  • Some types of damage occur during gestation and birth (for example, the result of substances taken or falls sustained during pregnancy, or an interruption of the delivery of oxygen in the birth process);
  • Others are the result of a head injury caused by an accident or contact sports (since TBIs often involve damage to the tips of the frontal lobes or shearing of white-matter tracts associated with diagnostic AD(h)D);
  • Still others result from the absorption or ingestion of neurotoxic substances; and
  • A great many are riding the wake of damage caused by stroke, physical illnesses and their treatment protocols and medications.

Still More Examples:

Cognitive lapses and attentional struggles frequently occur when the brain is temporarily impaired or underfunctioning due to:

  • Medication, alcohol or other substances
  • Grief or other strong emotional responses
  • Stress, especially prolonged stress
  • Sleep deprivation

Stay tuned for more articles about attentional struggles and attention management throughout October.

NOW let’s take a look at what else for which October is noted.

Thanks to Terri Mauro, Parenting Special Needs Expert from the site for many of the links that formed the genesis of the Awareness articles. Other links to other lists can be found below (in the Related Content section at the bottom of the majority of my articles), with my appreciation.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Awareness and Advocacy Dates for October

Remember: If you write (or have written) an article that adds content to any of these categories, feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will move it into its appropriate category.

  • ADHD Awareness Month

ADD or ADHD? What’s in a NAME?
When you are NEW to ADD
Variations on ADD-ADHD
The ADD “ADHD” Club is Open for Membership – No Application Needed
Top Ten Stupid Comments from ADD-Docs

  • AIDS Awareness

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day – October 15

  • Blindness Awareness Month

Blindness Awareness Month

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Organization

  • Bullying Prevention Month

Psychology Today Looks at Bullying
Stomp out Bullying

  • Celiac Disease Awareness Month

  • Dyslexia Awareness Month

Understanding Dyslexia & Learning Disabilities

  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Psychology Today on Domestic Violence
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the Domestic Violence Awareness Project

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month

United States Department of Labor

  • Mental Illness Awareness Week – First Week of October

National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Information Alliance
National Down Syndrome Society
Down Syndrome Awareness Month

  • National Liver Awareness Month

American Liver Foundation

  • National Physical Therapy Month

American Physical Therapy Association

  • National Sensory Awareness Month

SPD University
Sound Sensitivity and Sensory Awareness

  • Child Health Day – First Monday of the Month

Presidential Proclamation — Child Health Day, 2016 |

  • National Depression Screening Day – First Thursday of the Month

Screening for Mental Health

  • World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2016

World Mental Health Day – Wikipedia

  • Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month (Contact: Sara Guastello or Lorena Bedoya)

  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day – October 15, 2016

The Official Site

  • Rett Syndrome Awareness Month


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There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on
(in case you missed them above or below)

Related Articles ’round the net

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

13 Responses to Mental Health Awareness in October

  1. Pingback: October 10th is World Mental Health Day | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Wendy says:

    I wish I had seen this before, I didn’t know about Mental Health Awareness week. Of course I was a bit out of it and don’t know if I would have gotten anything posted, but I would have tried.
    I personally think Mental Health deserves it’s own month, not just a week. golly.
    Thank you for putting this together. You are awesome.


    • Thanks. I do what I can. I hope to be able to get it together for the first of every month – but we shall see. Man plans, God laughs. 🙂

      btw – This week in October is a bonus! Mental Health DOES get a whole month, led by more than a few organizations. Since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates across the country have led the observance of MAY as Mental Health *Month*. NAMI supports it too.


  3. TT says:

    Reblogged this on In through One door and out the other and commented:
    My attention is all over the place, but I know diet effects your mind’s response. For example, soda is not helpful.


    • Thank you very much for spreading the word. Lots of substances exacerbate attentional struggles – more in some than others. The sugar hit from soda is lousy, of course, but aspartame is actually neurotoxic (Diet Rite is the only cola I’ve found that hasn’t gone over to the dark side).

      Thanks for visiting – and ESPECIALLY for reblogging.


  4. akiwifreund says:

    Hello Madelyn! I just put this up today regarding PTSD without realizing that it was Mental Illness Awareness Week, but boy, do I feel aware! As always, thank you for your fabulous, fact-filled blog posts. ❤


    • GREAT article – although it has made me FURIOUS with the medical profession on your behalf (again!) — and in support of anyone who struggles to FORCE their medical “professionals” to listen to them and treat them appropriately.

      I appreciate the heads up. I’ll be moving your link into the “relateds” on this article – and will probably add it to a few more, past and future.



  5. That’s good to know but don’t forget it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month too!!


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