May 2017: Mental Health Awareness

Special days & weeks in May

Along with Advocacy & Awareness
for mental health related issues
(and a calendar for the month!)

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

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
Online Marketing Gurus extol the effectiveness of piggy-backing posts
onto particular events – how about one or several of the ones below?
They make GREAT, positive writing prompts!

It takes a village to transform a world. ~ mgh

Mark your blogging calendars!

Although May has been set aside to promote ALL Mental Health Awareness issues, many days of the rest of the year have been set aside every month to promote awareness or advocacy of an issue, illness, disability, or special-needs related cause.

In addition to a calendar for the current month, included on every Awareness Month list at are awareness and advocacy reminders for health problems that intersect, exacerbate or create additional problems with cognition, mood, memory, follow-through and attention management.

Since I have written prior articles on many of these issues, I have added links to a few posts with explanations, for those of you who are interested in learning more or blogging about these issues yourselves.

If I’ve missed something Mental Health related that you believe needs inclusion, please let me know why in a comment so that I can add it to the list below.  Thanks!

May 2017 be the year
when everyone becomes aware of
the crying need for upgraded Mental Health Awareness.
All the way to the TOP!

Stay tuned for more articles about Executive Functioning struggles and management throughout the year (and check out the Related Posts for a great many already published).

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 add it to the post’s Related Content.

IMPORTANT: All links were active at the time I created this document, and I tried to limit the number of “.gov” sites and sites with federally funded content.

Since the American president is busily removing government content that doesn’t support his agenda, I can’t promise that off-site links will still be active when you click – or how much of the original content will remain.

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 Events for May
(intersecting with Mental Health & cognitive challenges)

Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental Health America
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness WEEK
May 1-7/2017 (First full week of the month)
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week Website

Related Posts:
Feeling Good? A post for Mental Health Awareness Week


National Sleep Disorders Awareness Month
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Circadian Sleep Disorders Network

Related Posts:
*  An Open Letter to Sleep Sites EVERYWHERE —
Asking for a Legitimate Place at the Table

*  Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24
*  Up all Nite – Sleep away the Day?


Stroke Awareness Month
American Stroke Association

WERE YOU AWARE that MOST strokes can be prevented?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Check it out.

Related Post: Stroke & Attentional Disorders


National Trauma Awareness Month
National Trauma Institute

Related Posts:
PTSD Overview – Awareness Post
C-PTSD Awareness (Complex)
When Fear Becomes Entrenched & Chronic


Women’s Health Month
Speakers for Nurses
National Women’s Health WEEK
May 14-20, 2017
CDC on Women’s Health Week

National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day each year. It is a reminder to women to take care of themselves, and to make their health a priority – mental & physical.


Celiac Awareness Month
Celiac Central
ABOUT Celiac Awareness Month (WhatHealth)

It’s NOT just a passing fad – it’s an “invisible” autoimmune disorder. It occurs when the body’s inability to digest gluten (a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye), damages the small intestine, allowing the release of “unprocessed” molecules into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and an attack from the cells whose job it is to protect us from “invaders.”

In those who are gluten sensitive (which some life-long gluten experts claim includes ALL of us, btw), consumption of gluten can affect the whole body. It often mimics symptoms of other physical and mental health diseases and disorders – AND gluten sensitivity affects the brain more significantly than the gut!!

Mild symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed while they worsen,
and extreme symptoms can be deadly

In the United States alone, approximately 3 million people have celiac disease (only 5% knew they had it). Celiac expert scientists believe that approximately 21 million people are sensitive to gluten.

If YOU carry most of your weight around the middle or have digestive problems of any sort (including stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and/or muscle spasms) – or frequent migraines, bone density or joint problems,  – it’s worth your while to take ten minutes to investigate what is now called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” and learn what you can do to protect your health.  Watch the video below.

Related Posts:
The Difference Between Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
(excellent plain-language Video from Thom O’Brien, a gluten expert – WELL worth anybody’s time)
All about Gluten on Dr. Thom’s site

Arthritis Awareness Month
Arthritis Foundation

Another autoimmune disease.  Read the Celiac information as well.


Food Allergy Awareness WEEK
May 14-20, 2017 (Week of the 2nd Monday, beginning Sunday)
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Every 3 min, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER – that’s more than 200,000 visits per year. Food allergies can begin at any age and affect children and adults of all races and ethnicity.

8 foods account for 90% of all reactions:
milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

1 in 13 children in the U.S. has a bonafide food allergy – and many more have food sensitivities

The cognitive symptoms of many mental health diagnoses are exacerbated by diet — which doesn’t mean they are caused by diet, but that sensitivities or allergies may be responsible for some (or many) of the symptoms.

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – for life without limits™

National Toxic Encephalopathy & Chemical Injury Awareness Month
National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness WEEK
MCS America

National Alcohol & Other Drug-Related Birth Defects WEEK
May 8-14, 2017
NICADD site (National Institute of Alcohol and Drug Dependence)
Consumer Health Digest site

Approximately one in every 100 children born nation-wide is adversely affected by prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, including children with the full fetal alcohol syndrome, as well as children who may not have all of the external features of the syndrome, but whose brains have been injured.


National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day
May 3, 2017 (1st Wednesday)
Freedom From Fear

Do you worry all the time and have difficulty sleeping, perhaps disturbed by nightmares that seem to affect how you feel during the day? Do you often feel exhausted because you are too tense? Ever find yourself obsessing about making everything perfect? Are you angry and irritable over small things – “flying off the handle” at family, co-workers or friends? Do you ever worry that you’ll panic in a public place?  If so, you may have an anxiety disorder.
~ HAP Coordinated Behavioral Health Management

Related Post: What do YOU do to beat back anxiety?
(Understanding the link between anxiety and self-harm)

Better Hearing and Speech Month
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

National Stuttering Awareness Week
May 8-15, 2017 (May’s first full week, starting Monday)
National Stuttering Association
Stuttering Foundation of America


Awareness Days especially for Supporters

National Emergency Medical Services Week
May 21-27, 2017 (Third Week of May)
American College of Emergency Physicians

National Nurses Week
May 6-12, 2017
American Nurses Association

National School Nurse Day
May 10, 2017 (Wednesday of National Nurses Week-above)
National Association of School Nurses


Other links to other posts and lists can be found below (in the Related Content section at the bottom of the majority of my articles), with my appreciation for improving your own Awareness, with hopes that you will help me SPREAD THE WORD!

Shared on the Senior Salon

© 2017, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

Mental illness and why it shouldn’t be overlooked | Julia Robin | TEDxSciencesPoCampusDijon‬

Thanks again to Terri Mauro, Parenting Special Needs Expert from the site
for many of the links that formed the genesis of the original Awareness articles.

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
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.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

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

Related Content ’round the ‘net

Comprehensive Sleep Sites with decent Chrono-info

Other “comprehensive” Sleep Sites

BY THE WAY: Since is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

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!"

51 Responses to May 2017: Mental Health Awareness

  1. Pingback: Link between Gluten & ADD/ADHD? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. I am so glad you had such a lovely trip Madelyn. I hope you get more time away to relax with your friends. Thanks for sharing all this great info. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dgkaye says:

    Excellent calendar my friend. I hope you’re having a well deserved blast! Cheers! 🙂 xx


  4. Adele Marie says:

    Have a great break and see you when you get back online. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland and commented:
    Have a good break Madelyn xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy says:

    Thank you so much for putting these calendars together. You’re awesome. I hope you have a good time away. ♡ wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU for appreciating them. And I DID have a great time way. WHAT a wonderful break from my life – gorgeous, peaceful setting, super time catching up with my friend Sammy, and Tink had a ball running around leash-free at the cabin compound, which we had practically to ourselves. Perfect time to go – and perfect weather the entire time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wendy says:

        Sounds divine. Only thing that would have made it better would be if I were there with you. 😆
        xo ♡


        • Oh Wendy, that would have been ALMOST perfect. Sam misplaced his hearing aid before we left my house, so the two of you would have had a ball laughing at your attempts to communicate without being able to hear. HOWEVER, what would have made it *really* perfect would be if your health were glowing the entire time otherwise.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wendy says:

            Well sweetie, I’ve been doing pretty good recently. Started on new stuff for my migraines and it seems to be working. Vertigo has been kind to me. I’m off balance, but that’s normal for me.
            Sounds like it a fantastic trip. I’m sure I’d love Sam.
            How did the two of you do with a hearing aid shortage? Could he understand you? I’m sure you are patient and don’t make us hearing challenged folks uncomfortable.
            xo ♡

            Liked by 1 person

            • He has some hearing in one ear and reads lips well – and I repeat patiently – lol. Mostly, we were concerned that it seemed to have disappeared.

              We tossed my house looking for it (still need to put it back together), went through the luggage for both of us, every piece of trash in every trashcan .

              JUST heard from him at home (Knoxville, TN). It had somehow slipped, case and all, *under* the lining of his smallest suitcase where he had packed meds, shaving stuff, toothbrush etc.

              He *just* found it, going through everything millimeter by millimeter for the 4th time. Neither of us saw it, of course, or thought to take out the lining. It was with us all along – and we are both thrilled that it was finally located. It was a pricey one, and I doubt he could have afforded to replace it.

              I am thrilled to hear your new migraine meds are working – crossed fingers and toes on that front – and that your vertigo has been “kind.”

              Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for all this information, Madelyn. I have saved this for future reference.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a calendar. We are so happy to know you are taking a well deserved rest and know you will return filled with new passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know about the passion – lol – but I certainly returned VERY well rested, with a huge smile on my face. Extremely restorative and more needed than I realized. Truly, I must not wait so long to get away next time.

      Tink had a BALL and ran his little legs off, checking out all the new smells – he has been fast asleep since we walked in the door! Once he recovers (and I get caught up), he plans to take over the computer to blog about our trip.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is nice knowing you are back and the smiles are beaming out to us. Emma sends out a woof woof to Tink and can relate to the smell thing. We can’t wait to hear about the adventures from the campsite.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The cabin compound was less “rustic” than anticipated, and we chose to eat our meals at the lodge – but the scenery was gorgeous, the weather sublime, and the company could only have been better if you guys had been there with us.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Its something how at times the brochures don’t always reflect the real. But now you know from being there and can guide all of us even better. It’s frustrating isn’t it when the weather doesn’t cooperate on those long awaited get-aways. Oh well, at least you got away from the routines. That is so kind of you to say that we could have added to the fun.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I guess to get the more rustic experience you need to stay at the State Park’s campgrounds (at a different part of the park, which we did not explore). There were no photos of the cabins online, but the rest of the photos (lodge, surrounds, falls, etc.) were right on – except they did not do the gorgeous setting justice. For me, getting AWAY was the big draw in any case.

              I don’t want to give you guys the wrong impression. It was truly lovely – and probably better for Sam, who was once QUITE the mountain hiker, but now must live on immunosuppressants since his kidney transplant — so it was easier for him to be clean and careful, but still out in nature.

              No bait and switch, but I think my mind expected “cabin” to be more Little House on the Prairie – i.e., log — which it was, ax-marks and all from its genesis in the 30s — but updated inside. (I’ve been in NYC living spaces with kitchens and bathrooms that weren’t as “modern,” for example – although many suburb dwellers would not use that word).

              Each cabin in the compound was built “into” the woods (on a bluff – so no back space in which to wander around safely). We spent a great deal of time on the back deck whenever we returned to the cabin. We had our own “pedestal” grill and picnic table to the side of the cabin, and a fireplace inside, but no “campfire” space – thus our choice to go to the lodge for meals.

              The lodge was like an old-style hotel, and offered a gorgeous view of the river below. Racoons, birds, squirrels, and a groundhog showed up right outside the large windows overlooking the stone “patio” space (attracted by the bird feeders). We spoke to a bird watching group who had been traveling together for almost 50 years!

              We both would jump at the chance to go back when the leaves change and the weather crisps. Although there was nothing frustrating about the weather on this trip. It was PERFECT.

              Liked by 1 person

            • This sounds like a great adventure spot Madelyn. We feel the same as you, any getaway is refreshing to the spirit especially when it takes us away from the routines we often get immersed in. Some days we look at each other and know its time to get out and take a drive to anywhere, lol. I bet Tink loved seeing the creatures outside the window knowing he would tear em up if they tried to get you. Wow, isn’t that great that the birders were together that long. What great fellowship time sharing the same interest. It sounds like it was the perfect spot for you and Sam to relax and soak in nature. Your post today was a powerhouse so you are back in the groove.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Aw, thanks for that – but it was actually drafted before I left – lol – with just a few editing/linking details to attend to before posting. I knew I wouldn’t be eager to “groove” immediately on return, since I would be busy with catch-up, etc.

              The birders looked like they did more together than watch flying critters (and like there might even have been some substances involved over the years 🙂 ). They were definitely having a ball together – not stereotypical in the slightest.

              We learned that the lodge was also on the ElderHostel list, so there was a couple of groups of disparate travelers at every meal that made for great people watching and a couple of surface conversations before they returned to their respective klatch.

              Tink hasn’t had so much continuous exercise since he came to live with me – and, even tho’ Shih Tzus don’t *need* a lot of exercise, he surely enjoyed running around, exploring and marking practically non-stop.

              Liked by 1 person

            • We’re smiling because we thought you whipped that up upon your return and were amazed that after a getaway at how you did it. We usually return as basket cases for at least a week. I know this may sound gross but we are amazed at how many times Emma tinkles on our outings… its like where does it come from, I mean every blade of grass, lol. Oh, well she’s having fun. We’re sure those birders do more than watch the critters. They as many senior and junior groups know how to have fun and isn’t it great to see. Life is short and laughter and fun is so important. We love the people watching though…I bet the birds love watching us scurrying around like humans.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah – Tink and Emma were leaving the doggy version of “Kilroy was Here” — everywhere! 🙂

              I’m like you on return from even a short getaway – and especially fried following the non-stop stimulation of a conference. Then there’s always catch-up, laundry, unpacking, etc. I’ve learned to plan online articles in advance whenever possible.

              I prefer to write ahead anyway. It feels too much like a homework rush job otherwise. 🙂 I usually have a few queued to auto-post, and pray that I’m never forced to use them up due to something unforeseen (like when my hand was broken).

              I’m sure you are right that critters that are used to human company find watching us as amusing as we do them. Forrest critters tend to avoid us.

              I plan to investigate ElderHostel now that I am home. It might be a fun, budget-friendly way to travel a bit, and I’m sure I’d meet some interesting people who were thinking the same thing. Since moving to Cincy, I have spent waaaay too much time alone, my companions primarily virtual, so I’m sure I would enjoy being around a group for at least a trip or two.


            • Emma and Tink are fortunate doggies to have been adopted by us. It hurts us when we drive by places where the pouch is tied up to a tree behind the house and all it can do is run around the tree in its beaten path. We are learning how to schedule our post and it sounds like you have it figured out. Such a learning curve to this new to us world of blogging. Yes the Elderhostel sounds like a great thing… like minded fellowship yet there is individuality too. We are seeing us humans are designed for fellowship and it can be so wonderful. Like you said its an option for a getaway or two or three. We are loving the work and play balance that is so new and wonderful.

              Liked by 1 person

            • So sad that E&T are “fortunate” – vs. all dogs treated well always, even though we have all seen far too many cases that are real heart breakers.

              We humans are indeed built for community. Gotta’ have it for health – both mental and physical (many newer studies affirming same).

              I have to admire some of those ElderHostel folks who don’t let physical disabilities keep them from a dream of traveling, or force them into isolation.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Isn’t it so true. We see many groups of elders in our travels and as we talk with them can’t help but learn from them. Each of them have been around the barn a few times yet they don’t let it keep em down. In their senior years my parents retired to Florida and talk about two people that found their youth again. They connected with senior groups and they “partied” at such a wonderful wholesome level never looking at their health or other life issues as an excuse to stop living.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I love to hear that – good for them!

              I recently came across a concept that made me smile: “claiming your elderhood.” The retired priest who was talking about it was big on a wilderness 4-day “vision quest” (water fast) as the method of getting in touch with your third-act purpose, which I don’t believe is necessary to the process, but I love the concept.

              Some years ago I designed a TeleClass along a similar concept – MidLife Makeovers. Perhaps I’ll trot it out again.

              Liked by 1 person

            • It sounds like it would be very interesting. You have your fingers in so many areas…. awesome.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I have a gazillion “finger” interests. I am seeking the next place to put my FEET!

              Liked by 1 person

            • 🙂 It is great watching this process take place.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks – who knows where I will land next and what I will be doing. Life is at least a 3-ACT play, right? Or maybe a mini-series. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • LOL. Yes, a very interesting mini-series.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. No disrespect but every month is some kind of awareness. For example April was Autism Awareness but there are still gaps in service, not enough programs and of course you are aware of my struggle in caring for my brother Stephen. ♡

    Every year the lack of trained professionals decreases. Actually I am going to take legal action to get my brother Stephen into a better place.

    As for mental health issues I spent two weeks on the psysh ward at Kings County Hospital back in March 2015.

    Worst experience of my life. I was terrified the entire time. If you Google Kings County Hospital you will understand why.

    Hospitals that serve or located in minority and immigrant communities are the worst in the city. I threw away all those horrible pills which made me even sicker.

    I will never again seek help for my depression or attend therapy again.

    Doctors only want to give harmful drugs and get your money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that health care is woefully inadequate – especially in America where we’d like to think we can expect better. That’s why these Awareness Events are SOOOOOO important.

      It is simply naive to think that you can leave your own mental health care up to the information base of mental health “professionals.” You might luck out, but you probably won’t. In my experience, most do NOT know more than they know – and seem to have no idea they are misinformed or are practicing with out-of-date info unless called on it (with references you often must INSIST that they read).

      Most people would be stunned at how little EVEN the staff at many mental health hospitals know about their patients’ conditions — and how to diagnose and treat them – actually making meds mistakes that they could LOOK UP in the DSM, and I must assume that they have little to no knowledgeable supervision.

      Meanwhile I hear story after story like yours year after year – even in supposedly excellent facilities with good reputations. Like I said, SUPPOSEDLY. I could tell you tales that would curl even your ears.

      But we can’t generalize about the types of treatment you will receive. Some doctors are too quick to medicate, others practically refuse to – and I’m not sure which is worse!

      As I tell my students – 50% of ALL medical personnel graduated at the bottom of their respective classes and only 10% graduated at the very top — and medical science changes quickly. Worth remembering that you may OR MAY NOT get one of the ones who are well-informed and remain current.

      Your health – mental as well as physical – is in your own hands, and YOU must stay current. Thanks for ringing in.


  10. thanks for sharing the event calendar for may…;o)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A very good post. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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