Mental Health Awareness Month

Written By: Sean Ackerman, Health & Benefits Coordinator

Date: May 24, 2022

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues. Each year millions of Americans face living with a mental illness, and research shows that 1 in 5 adults will be diagnosed with a mental health condition each year in the U.S.

The coronavirus had our priorities of wellbeing shifted primarily to focus on physical health, which perhaps helped us avoid the contagion but brought about other problems, especially regarding mental health. One of Parkhill's collective values is Life Balance. This value has been at the forefront throughout the pandemic and as we reconfigure the firm's policies and adapt our work environment to employee needs, including maintaining health and happiness.

Neurotransmitters help regulate our mood. These chemicals serve as messengers that allow neurons to talk to one another. There are several types in a multitude of categories. However, four are most associated with uplifting our mood and improving wellbeing. 

Happy Hormones

Dopamine – Reward Chemical

  • Celebrating small wins
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating nutritious foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Self-care

Serotonin – Happy Chemical

  • Meditating/prayer
  • Exercise
  • Sunlight
  • Music

Oxytocin – Love Chemical

  • Spending time with friends
  • Playing with animals
  • Meaningful conversations
  • Getting a massage

Endorphins – Feel Good/Pain Relief Chemical

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Laughing

Choose one or two things from each chemical category and turn them into a new habit, or if you are already incorporating some of these and can see a difference, that is great! 

Eating chocolate and playing with your pet in the sun are not cures for mental illness, and these tips are not making light of serious issues. A change in perspective or positive stimulation during your day can make a significant impact that might give some reprieve and help lay a path to a renewed state. 


Works Cited:
Björklund , Anders Björklund, and Stephen B Dunnett. “Dopamine Neuron Systems in the Brain: an Update.” Trends in Neurosciences, www.cell.com/trends/neurosciences/fulltext/S0166-2236(07)00067-7?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0166223607000677%3Fshowall%3Dtrue.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "neurotransmitter." Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 May. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/science/neurotransmitter. Accessed 25 May 2022.
“Mental Health Month Toolkits of Years Past.” Mental Health America, mhanational.org/mental-health-month-toolkits-years-past.
“Quick Facts and Statistics About Mental Health.” Mental Health America, mhanational.org/mentalhealthfacts.
“The State of Mental Health in America.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america.
“The State of Mental Health in America.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america. 
Mental Health Awareness Month cover image