The Navajo Nation has officially declared the month of May as “Ńtsáhakees Silah’igii Baa ‘Áhayá – Navajo Nation Mental Health Awareness Month," in a proclamation issued Monday by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer.

On the Navajo Nation, where COVID-19 disproportionately plagued tribal members, Lizer stressed the importance of embracing mental health awareness.

“If you know of someone in your home or community struggling with mental health issues, lend a hand to get them help and support,” Lizer said in a statement. “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Together, we must create a concrete message of hope and equity.”

“Over the past two years, we’ve experienced higher levels of stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief, but through the teachings of our elders we remain strong and continue to overcome,” Nez said in a statement. “We recommit ourselves to standing and supporting those experiencing mental health conditions with this proclamation.”

The proclamation recognizes Diné culture for its tradition to “hold in high esteem our teaching and need for mental, emotional, physical, and social health.”

For more information regarding services and assistance, visit the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services website at: https://www.nndbmhs.org or by calling (928) 871-6240. Support is also available through the National Suicide Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

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