By Ashley Ferrer, Ryen Kowalczyk, Kelly Cooke, Isabella Benjumea Palomino and Abby Marton

Mental Health Awareness Month sheds light on mental health, the importance of mantaining a balanced mindset and the impact mental illness can have on the well-being of children, families and communities. Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. It has been proven that through spreading awareness and providing those in need with resources, that treatment can be effective, and people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives.

Over the past 20 years, government agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have made efforts to increase the importance of understanding both prevention and treatment of mental health issues. These efforts have significantly improved the outlook for those affected by mental illnesses.

Peer Counselors dedicate class time to hear and conduct presentations surrounding mental health

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Graphic by Hannah Kang