May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While there are many things that contribute to poor mental health, changes in circumstance and environment are risk factors. So, if you or a loved one has cancer, your mental health could be affected. It’s important to check in with yourself and your loved ones to make sure that mental health remains a consideration and an open subject for discussion.

Whether or not you’ve noticed big changes in your mood or habits, battling cancer at any stage is something that shouldn’t go unrecognized. Talk to someone, even if it’s not a mental health or medical professional. Start with someone close to you. If you can name fears or difficulties with a family member or friend, they can help you figure out if additional support is something you may need in this season.

The good news is, the stigma surrounding mental health is fading, as more and more ways to treat and prevent mental health problems are made available. Whether or not a cancer diagnosis is the reason your mental health is suffering, you deserve to have it addressed. Often, mental illness is complex, varied, and individual, which makes having support–from yourself and loved ones–all the more critical.

These are hard things to address and admit, so here are a few resources:

  1. If you’re feeling hopeless and helpless and think you are in danger of hurting yourself, we strongly encourage you to call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifelineby calling 988 or (800) 273-8255.
  2. Take a confidential mental health screening to learn more about your mental health through Mental Health America.
  3. After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, get free one-on-one support from a professionally-trained Mentor/breast cancer survivor who is similar to you. Get matched with a mentor here.
  4. Call a Breast Cancer Helpline for emotional support, guidance, and hope.
  5. Learn more about your options for mental health support in this article.

If you know someone struggling but aren’t sure how to help, make yourself available to them through presence, service, or giving them a gift like a For the Girls pink wind chime. A thoughtful gift that brings peace and harmony may help open the door to a deeper conversation, and will certainly let that person know you are there to support them, no matter what.