May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since its first observance in 1949, this month encourages people to reflect on how mental health impacts their daily lives, utilize resources, and advocate for and encourage others to prioritize mental health. This month also seeks to raise awareness about the stigmas that surround mental health. It’s critical to understand that our overall health stems from our mental health. There are social determinants of health as well, such as our environment and communities that we interact in, that can affect our mental state.
Mental Health America has been using this month as an opportunity to share information, stories, and resources. This year’s campaign is “Look around, look within,” highlighting how our surroundings impact our mental health.
To recognize this month, Maven is highlighting several of our clients whose work creates healthy living environments, community spaces, and provides public health services, all of which are imperative for improving mental health.
Pennrose Management Co recently opened Haven at South Atlanta, an 84-unit mixed-income residential community. The American Psychological Association conducted a survey that outlines 72% of Americans stress about finances. However, yearly salary income is known to not be equitable across the country. This pay gap disproportionately affects individuals from various communities ranging from people of color, women, and those in under-resourced or low-income communities. The Haven at South Atlanta provides modern and beautiful homes for those who need equitable rent. Of the 84 units, 71 are income-restricted for residents earning 50-60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), about $40,594 to $46,320 for a two-person household.
Another impact on mental health is our access to safe and comfortable community spaces that foster connectivity to others. We all learned during COVID-19 isolation how crucial community is to our well-being. Rebuild Philadelphia, made possible by the city’s Soda Beverage Tax, works cohesively with community members to renovate public spaces, such as parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the city’s most underserved communities. Spending time outdoors has proven to boost our mental health. Green spaces are vital to a community’s success. Social interaction is also imperative to a child’s cognitive development. Rebuild also prioritizes making these spaces as safe as possible so that the youth are free to enjoy being present in these spaces, without fear.
Separate from our personal living and community spaces, for many of us, utilizing resources such as therapy or group work is necessary. However, these resources are not available to everyone. Public Health Management Corporation provides extensive services to improve the social determinants of health that directly impact the well-being of communities. Mental Health Awareness Month also acknowledges our personal experiences that have contributed to our mental health. PHMC offers community mental health programs that utilize comprehensive, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approaches that focus on improving the emotional, behavioral, social and spiritual well-being of each child and family.
Maven also encourages our team members to do what best serves them and their communities through the Maven Gives Back Program. Maven employees are permitted to use as many work hours as they’d like to volunteer for a cause that is important to them. On average, the team at Maven volunteers over 300 hours per year.
Overall, this month provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on how we can better our mental health. Whether it’s improving your home environment, spending time with friends at community spaces, or utilizing other resources, everyone at Maven encourages you to prioritize your mental health every day.
Resources are available to you:
Healthy Minds Philly offers tools and resources to support and improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania offers an extensive guide to find the support that works for you and your loved ones.
BetterHelp provides convenient and affordable therapy and will match you for free to one of their 31,000 licensed therapists based on your location, preferences, and therapist availability.