Important Dates to Remember

May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Every year during the month of May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

May 15 is Saint Dymphna’s Feast Day

Patron saint to those suffering from mental illness. Dymphna is a Christian saint honored in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions. According to tradition, she lived in the 7th century and was martyred by her father. The story of Dymphna was first recorded in the 13th century by a canon of the Church of Aubert of Avranches at Cambrai, France.

September is Suicide Prevent Awareness Month

September marks National Suicide Prevention Month – a month to remember the lives lost to suicide, the millions of people who have struggled with suicidal ideation, and acknowledge the individuals, families, and communities that have been impacted. It is also a time to raise awareness about suicide prevention and share messages of hope.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is an awareness day always observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world since 2003.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

Pope Francis took the opportunity on World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2021, during his Angelus address to ask us “to remember our brothers and sisters who suffer from mental illness, and also victims – often young people – of suicide. Let us pray for them and their families, so that they are never left alone, or discriminated against, but instead are welcomed and supported."

December 2 is the Winter Equinox - Longest Night/Blue Christmas

People who are facing a mental health challenge, illness or grief often find the Christmas season a difficult time. Coinciding with the winter solstice, the longest night service, sometimes called a Blue Christmas service, acknowledges those difficulties, and offers prayer, hymns, and reflection to accompany people.

Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the Celebration for the 14th World Day of the Sick in 2006 to those who suffer from mental illness. In his Message for that day, he stated: “On this occasion, the Church intends to bow down over those who suffer with special concern, calling the attention of public opinion to the problems connected with mental disturbance that now afflicts one-fifth of humanity and is a real social-health care emergency….”

To read the full message of Pope Benedict XVI, click here.