Mental Health Month Resources

A green calendar of mental health awareness months in May.

May is Mental Health Month, also known as Mental Health Awareness Month, designed to raise awareness and push back on institutionalized stigma. It’s an excellent opportunity to show your support by creating a display in your public spaces or posting on your professional social media.

Looking for promotional content you can use to raise awareness, improve knowledge, and help eliminate the stigma against mental health?

You are in the right place. Our goal is to give you a starting place to complete materials that you can use to drive action in your community that will promote and protect mental health.

Potential display ideas and materials:

Depending on the timeline for your display, you may already have specific ideas in mind for content.

You may choose to use a series of flyers available for patrons to take – or perhaps display them on a cork board. We also recommend displaying books or other content that addresses these topics with your display, such as one of Maggie Bowyer’s collections of poetry.

Stigma is also a significant determinant of quality care and access to the full range of services required. 

Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE JP, World Foundation for Mental Health (WFMH) Secretary-General

For each day or event, there is a theme or tagline on which you can base materials—or you can leverage the materials that we’ve gathered below. We’ve also included background on organizations that play a central role in certain events.

Mental Health Month

Taking place all month!

Background and Information:

Mental Health Awareness Month was created in 1949. In the United States, Mental Health America (MHA) plays a pivotal role in this month-long event, but it is not the only organization that does—the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also participate.

Each organization has a different, but overlapping theme this year with MHA’s “Where to Start” and NAMI’s “Take The Moment.” Both are great messages with tangible takeaways for folks at different stops on their mental health journeys. SAMHSA has a different theme each week:

  • Week 1: May 1-4
    • Theme: Older Adults
    • Key messages: As we age, we may experience life changes that impact our mental health.
  • Week 2: May 5-11
    • Theme: Children and Teens
    • Key messages: Supportive families, communities, and resources can help youth build strong foundations for lifelong well-being.
  • Week 3: May 12-18
    • Theme: Pregnant and Postpartum People
    • Key messages: Pregnancy and giving birth can be joyful and can also present a variety of strong emotions for pregnant and postpartum people.
  • Week 4: May 19-25
    • Theme: Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
    • Key messages: Everyone deserves access to respectful and culturally appropriate care.
  • Week 5: May 26-31
    • Theme: LGBTQIA+ Communities
    • Key Messages: Inclusive families, schools, and societies can support mental health in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Materials you can share:

From The Layered Onion:

  • Video files:

From MHA:

  • MHA has a full toolkit available for download that is full of useful materials. It can be found here
  • A sample of social media posts:
  • Social media stories:
  • Virtual/Zoom backgrounds!
  • Physical materials in the toolkit include:
    • Coloring sheets
    • Worksheets for addressing various situations
  • Want to show your support?
    • MHA is encouraging individuals to wear green (“Be Seen In Green”)! And also encouraging the Light Your Building Green event as part of Mental Health Month campaign, where buildings and structures across the U.S will light up green, the color for mental health awareness, throughout May. Join them here!

From NAMI:

  • NAMI has also created a toolkit surrounding their theme that can be found here
  • “Take The Moment” fosters open dialogues, cultivates empathy and understanding.
    • Affirmations:
  • Fast Facts:


  • SAMHSA has also created a toolkit here with weekly themes and specific material and social media content
    • Note that they have video content as well!
  • Hashtags: #MHAM2024 (primary hashtag), #MentalHealthAwareness, #MentalHealthMatters, #EmotionalWellness, #SelfCare
  • Other resources:

    Additional Resources:

    World Maternal Mental Health Day

    When? 5/1 (a Wednesday)

    Background and Information:

    • World Maternal Mental Health Day draws attention to essential mental health concerns for mothers and families. Life changes around pregnancy make women more vulnerable to mental illness. Caring for mothers is a positive intervention for long-term social development.
    • Mental health care provides the necessary support to empower women to identify resources and personal capabilities. 
    • These illnesses frequently go unnoticed and untreated, often with tragic and long-term consequences to both mother and child.

    Materials you can share:

    • Statistics above are available to share, as well as pregnant-themed posts above
    Text reads, "World Maternal Mental Health Day." A pregnant person features with a paintbrush. A QR code is in the corner.

    Additional Resources:

    • World Maternal Mental Health Day organizations and resources here

    National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day

    When? 5/2 (a Thursday)

    Background and Information:

    The National Council on Aging is proud to host the 7th annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium. This event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    Registration is free! The day starts at 10am ET.

    Materials you can share:

    Additional Resources:

    • The National Council on Aging’s event page series

    Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week

    When? 5/9 (a Thursday) and 5/5-5/11

    Background and Information:

    • Created to focus on raising awareness surrounding the importance of childrens’ mental health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (S.A.M.H.S.A.) hosted the first National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in 2005. This is sometimes celebrated all week!
    • The Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health offers resources and graphics to promote awareness all week long.
    • In December 2021, the Surgeon General issued an advisory highlighting the urgent need to address our nation’s youth mental health crisis. In June 2023, the Surgeon General released another report highlighting risks to youth mental health as a result of social media use. These advisories underscore the importance of our acceptance campaign message—that it’s time to move beyond awareness and accept the challenges our children and youth face today.

    Materials you can share:

    • Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health Resources:
      • 2024 Toolkit coming soon (2023 Toolkit here)
      • Social Media GIFs and graphics here

    Additional Resources:

    • National Federation of Families’ Acceptance Week Resources: Lighting the Path to Social Justice for Children & Youth
    • National Today‘s introduction to the day

    National Prevention Week

    When? 5/12-5/18 (Sunday – Saturday)

    Background and Information:

    • National Prevention Week is a public education platform showcasing the work of communities and organizations across the country that are preventing substance use and promoting positive mental health.
    • Learn more about how you can get involved throughout the week and register for the events taking place. You can help amplify the power of prevention leading up to National Prevention Week and beyond by sharing your #MyPreventionStory on social media, downloading the planning toolkit, and spreading the word about National Prevention Week.

    Materials you can share:

    • Share the event fact sheet
    • Prevention activities, including crosswords, word search, and more, here
    • Download the planning toolkit here

    Additional Resources

    Without advocacy and anti-stigma efforts, access to care services becomes challenging.

    Nassar Loza, President, World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH)

    Mental Health Action Day

    When? 5/16 (a Thursday)

    Background and Information:

    • Mental Health Action Day lifts the conversation from awareness to action and encourages partners to share evidence-based tools that can help people take their first steps to improved mental health (however they define it).

      Materials and Graphics you can use:

      • Mental Health Action Day is open source, but this website offers a brand guide, logo, highlight video, and graphics you can use to jump-start your messaging!

      Additional Resources:

      It seems that once you have a mental health diagnosis any physical symptoms you experience are instantly assumed to be part of your diagnosis. Once that assumption is made it is difficult to get anyone to attempt to disprove it.

      Participant at a Rethink Mental Illness Physical Health Summit, March 2012

      Mental Illness Awareness Week (UK)

        When? 5/13-5/19 (Monday – Sunday)

        Background and Information:

        • Created by Mental Health UK.
        • Theme: Movement: moving for our mental health.
        • Hashtag: #MoveYourWay
        • This year’s focus is on the benefits of physical exercise on our bodies and minds. It can reduce anxiety and depression and prevent physical illness. Unfortunately, people living with mental illness die on average 20 years younger than the general population, often from avoidable physical illness. This group is more likely to develop preventable conditions like diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and
          breast cancer.
        • Despite the evidence that keeping physically active can promote good mental health, we know there are barriers preventing us doing so, like accessibility, time, money, body image, lack of open space, or the negative connotations we might commonly associated with ‘exercise’ itself.
        • Numerous barriers can prevent people from being physically active, such as low energy, lack of confidence, or financial constraints. It’s likely that we will all face one or more of these barriers at some point in our lives. Rather than being hard on ourselves, it’s important to recognize their validity and find what works for each of us.

        Materials you can share:

        It's UK Mental Health Awareness Week!

        Additional Resources:

        Despite all efforts by the UN, WHO, WFMH, governments, institutions and other agencies, mental health discrimination, harmful stereotypes and stigma in the community, family, schools and the workplace still persist.

        Professor Gabriel Ivbijaro MBE JP, WFMH Secretary-General
        A purple onion with green top

                          Thank you for joining together with us to spread the word! Your support means everything and is helping to make the world a safer and more equitable place for those living with mental and emotional health challenges.