By Colleen Labbe, Senior Science Writer/Editor and Press Officer at the National Institutes of Health
Since 1990, the first full week of October has been designated National Mental Illness Awareness Week. This year, National Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place from October 7-13. It reminds us all that our mental health is vitally important to our overall health.
In the United States, mental disorders are common and do not discriminate. Men, women and children of all walks of life are affected by depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and other serious mental illnesses every year.
The goal of the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
Learn more about mental disorders and how they can be successfully treated.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, find out how you can get help.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. It’s recommended for most individuals, ages six months and older.
Here are some other ways to avoid getting the flu and passing it to others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits (get adequate sleep, exercise, eat healthy, and drink plenty of fluids).
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you have the flu, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever has returned to normal without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Learn more about the flu, including symptoms, types of vaccines, and high-risk indviduals, and get answers to common questions about the flu vaccine, including locations where you can get it.
October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of the month, the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health developed the Pink Ribbon Sunday program to help educate women across the nation about breast cancer prevention and awareness.
Pink Ribbon Sunday aims to reduce breast cancer health disparities in communities by empowering leaders of local groups and organizations to develop mammography awareness programs that fit the needs of their community. Mammography screening is still the best tool to detect breast cancer early. Lack of screening can lead to later diagnosis, later entry into treatment and increased mortality.
Awareness activities include mobile mammography events, local health fairs or “Pink” luncheons to promote the cause.
The FDA’s Office of Women’s Health has put together information packets for individuals or organizations to distribute in their communities. The packets include a mammography information card, mammography fact sheet and an official Pink Ribbon Sunday flyer.
You can order single copies or if you’re hosting an event, you can order in bulk.
You can also learn more about breast cancer risk factors and possible treatment options.