Here’s How We’re Exploring the Future of Mental Health All Throughout May

At SELF, our mission is to help all our readers take control of their health, in whatever ways that means to them. That includes mental wellness—we’re huge proponents of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health by shining light on important topics and connecting people to the resources they need. That’s why I’m so proud to announce The Future of Mental Health, our latest project in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

All May, we’ll be releasing articles and essays that delve into many different aspects of mental wellness. We started with our May cover, featuring the authentically brave Naomi Osaka. Osaka is not only a four-time Grand Slam champion, but she’s also spent the last few years finding—and using—her voice in ways that have changed the mental wellness landscape. Last year, when she announced that she was dropping out of the French Open to take care of her mental health, she sparked a new conversation about the pressures of elite athleticism and the toll it can take on professional athletes, who we can sometimes mischaracterize as invincible. Soon afterward, Black athletes like gymnast Simone Biles and golfer Mariah Stackhouse spoke out as well. As author Morgan Jerkins writes in her new SELF profile of Osaka, “2021 was a banner year for Black female athletes to proclaim that it was okay to not be okay, and Osaka was at the forefront.” You can read more in Jerkin’s profile, Naomi Osaka Is Just Getting Started.

Next, we have some excellent content that explores where we are now and what the future of mental health care may look like. Today, we’re publishing three pieces that address social media’s effects on our mental wellness, including a feature, We Know Social Media Can Destroy Our Mental Health. What Can We Actually Do About It?, by writer Claire Sibonney. We also have a thoughtful essay by psychologist Jenny Wang, PhD, who runs the account @asianformentalhealth. In My Social Media Account Helps People With Their Mental Health—Here’s How I Protect Mine, Dr. Wang opens up about the deeply emotional, yet rewarding experience of running an advocacy account that encourages others to process and discuss their mental health. Finally, we’ve curated an in-depth guide that will help you find empathetic support when social media affects your mental well-being.

Later this month, we’ll be publishing similar explorations and service pieces on trauma care, including a feature on how our definition of trauma is evolving and why that is crucial to help those who have experienced it, as well as the future of psychedelic- assisted therapy, featuring a deep dive into all the promising treatments currently approved or in clinical trials. We’ll also be releasing three brand new short documentaries on these topics later this month. You can watch the trailer below.

We hope you enjoy our robust Mental Health Awareness Month lineup as much as we did putting it together. Keep checking the site every month as we publish more; you can also find everything on our landing page, and follow us @selfmagazine to stay informed.

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