May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a monthlong effort to increase awareness and education about the importance of recognizing mental illness and providing the support needed to those affected.

If you are in crisis or need someone to talk with right now, you can find trained counselors 24 hours a day at Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741 in US or UK) or Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

Visit Call to Mind's resource page for suggested organizations to help deal with mental health conditions such as anxiety, bipolar, depression, suicide, and substance abuse disorder. 

Also consider these resources directly related to eating disorders:

  • What to Say Now - An initiative to give adults simple, actionable resources for how to talk to kids about food/body to reduce the kids’ risk of developing an eating disorder.

  • National Eating Disorders Association - NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.

  • F.E.A.S.T. - Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment for Eating Disorders is a global community of parents and those who support parents in families affected by eating disorders.

  • Overeaters Anonymous - An organization that helps people deal with compulsive overeating, under-eating, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or overexercising.

Left to right: Dr. Drew Ramsey, chef David McMillan, Stephanie Covington Armstrong, Virgie Tovar |  Photos: Ian McSpadden, Chanelle Sinclair, Stephanie Covington Armstrong, Andria Lo

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Splendid Table is producing two shows focused on the connection of food to mental health. This content is presented in partnership with Call to Mind, a new mental health initiative from American Public Media to foster open conversations about mental health. Here is what you can expect to hear on-air or in your podcast feed this month:

  • Splendid Table Selects: At the Intersection of Food and Mental Health. In our bimonthly single-subject podcast, contributor Shauna Sever talks to Dr. Drew Ramsey about looking at food as medicine, and the connections between food, brain function, and mental health. Dr. Ramsey, a self-described “nutritional psychiatrist,” is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He is also a farmer and author of the brain food books, Eat Complete, Fifty Shades of Kale and The Happiness Diet. Listen to this episode of Splendid Table Selects.

  • The Splendid Table: Food & Mental Health. We devote the entire hour to personal stories about how food and the food industry can impact our mental health. Restaurateur Dave McMillan, of Joe Beef in Montreal, talks candidly about his struggle for sobriety in the restaurant world and how it changed the way his restaurants function. Playwright and screenwriter Stephanie Covington Armstrong, author of Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, tells us her powerful story about eating disorders and the dissonance it has as a black woman. And, body image activist Virgie Tovar talks about the mental health implications of fatphobia, fat discrimination, and the diet culture. Listen to this episode of The Splendid Table.

If you or someone you know is dealing with mental illness, treatment helps. Call to Mind has resources to find help and to learn more.