May Awareness Months

May - Awareness Months, Days & Observances

As the flowers blossom and the warm winds of May sweep in, it's time to gear up for a month filled with meaningful opportunities to participate in environmental awareness and activism. 

In the fifth month, nature truly comes alive as spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere. With an array of environmental awareness days, and those promoting awareness of important health topics, this month presents a fantastic chance to engage with like-minded individuals, amplify our collective voices, and contribute to a sustainable future. 

From biodiversity conservation to green living, there's something for everyone in May. Let's join hands and take action as we celebrate this vibrant month dedicated to fostering a healthier and greener world for generations to come as we cover a range of monthly observances in May. 

And for more from the 5th Month, you might also like to check out our May Quotes

Full calendar of awareness months:
Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec

May Awareness Month-Long Events

National Mental Health Awareness Month

(USA)

As part of the national health observances (months dedicated to raising awareness related to health topics), May is dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of various mental health issues. Mental Health Awareness Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), aims to break mental illness's stigma and encourage people to seek help and support when needed.

Did you know that as many as one in four people live with a mental health condition? For more information, click on our mental health facts or read our quote compilation exploring the lived experience of patients, advocates, and supporters raising awareness around mental health concerns and their symptoms.  

Related: Official Website.

National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

sunscreen by the pool
Photo by Byeonghoon Jeon on Unsplash

(USA)

Focuses on preventing skin cancer and promoting early detection by increasing public awareness regarding the hazards of sun exposure, emphasizing the significance of sunscreen usage, and endorsing routine skin examinations.

Read more in our article on sun safety tips and grab some zero-waste sunscreen for protection without waste. 

Related: Official Website.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

(USA)

A celebration of the rich history, significant contributions, and diverse cultural heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Read more: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Related: Official Website.

Better Hearing and Speech Month

(USA)

Aims to raise awareness about communication disorders and promote appropriate care for hearing, speech, and language challenges, advancing the treatment and support for those affected.

Related: Official Website.

Foster Care Month

(USA)

Honors the vital role foster care, foster parents, child welfare professionals, and volunteers play in society. This month seeks to raise awareness of the struggles faced by children in foster care and support efforts to reunite them with their families.

Related: Official Website.

Global Employee Health and Fitness Month

(International)

Encourages employers to foster healthy and active workplaces, aiming to improve employees' well-being, lower health risks, and boost productivity through health initiatives.

Related: Official Website.

National Bike Month

National Bike Month
Photo by Duo Chen on Unsplash

(USA)

Promotes cycling as an eco-friendly means of transportation and recreation, striving for improved public health, reduced emissions, and decreased traffic congestion.

Related: Official Website.

For more information, grab a few bikes, gather your family members, and get inspired with our article on great reasons to get outdoors

National Clean Air Month

(USA)

Dedicated to raising awareness about air quality issues and advocating for measures to improve indoor and outdoor air quality, emphasizing the detrimental effects of air pollution on human health and ecosystems.

Older Americans Month

(USA)

Older Americans Month is a celebration in the United States dedicated to honoring the contributions of senior citizens. Established in 1963 by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), it emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and supporting our older population.

The month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the aging population's unique needs and underline the importance of fostering an age-friendly society. It also celebrates the wisdom and rich life experiences older adults bring to our communities. Services such as health screenings, housing initiatives, and social activities are typically highlighted during this period.

May Awareness Days

International Workers' Day

May 1 (International)

Commonly known as Labor Day or May Day, this significant day celebrates the achievements of workers across the globe while promoting labor rights and fair treatment. The focus lies in ensuring safe and equitable working conditions for all.

World Press Freedom Day

May 3 (International)

Established by the United Nations, World Press Freedom Day underscores the vital role of press freedom while raising awareness about protecting journalists from violence and censorship. The day's primary goal is to advocate for free, independent, diverse media.

Related: Official Website.

Teacher Appreciation Day

May 4 (International)

Teacher Appreciation Day is a special day to appreciate teachers and their contributions to education and society. This day provides a perfect platform to acknowledge the efforts and patience of teachers who diligently work to impart knowledge and wisdom. Activities on this day include celebrating with special events, sending thank you notes, or simply acknowledging their hard work and dedication.

Read more: Teacher Appreciation Day.

National Nurses Day

May 6 (USA)

National Nurses Day is dedicated to appreciating, acknowledging, and celebrating the tireless work, invaluable service, and critical care nurses provide in the healthcare sector. On this day, individuals and healthcare organizations express their gratitude through gifts, messages, and public acknowledgment. This day forms the start of National Nurses Week, leading up to the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Read more: National Nurses Day.

World Asthma Day

First Tuesday of May (International)

Organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), this day seeks to raise awareness and improve understanding of asthma, a chronic lung disease impacting millions worldwide.

Read more: World Asthma Day.
Related: Official Website.

National Fitness Day

First Saturday in May (USA)

Aimed at encouraging physical activity and promoting the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle, National Fitness Day celebrates the importance of fitness for everyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. By emphasizing the transformative power of exercise, this day serves as a reminder to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives and reap its numerous benefits for our overall well-being.

Related: Official Website.

International Dawn Chorus Day

First Sunday of May (International)

Inviting people across the world to experience the enchanting beauty of birdsongs early in the morning, this event promotes an appreciation for natural soundscapes and sparks inspiration for conservation efforts.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

May 8 (International)

Celebrating the valuable work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, this day is dedicated to alleviating human suffering, protecting life, and promoting lasting peace. The focus is on the importance of humanitarian efforts and fostering volunteerism.

Related: Official Website.

World Migratory Bird Day

Migratory Birds
Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

Second Saturday in May (International)

Raising awareness about the conservation and protection of migratory bird species, this day highlights their ecological importance and the need to preserve their habitats and migration routes.

Related: Official Website | Bird Facts.

World Fair Trade Day

Second Saturday of May (International)

Cause: Advocating for global trade that prioritizes people and the planet, World Fair Trade Day raises awareness about fair trade practices, emphasizing the importance of supporting sustainable and ethical trading.

Related: Choose to Buy Fairtrade

Mother's Day: A Heartfelt Celebration of Love and Gratitude

Second Sunday of May (International)

Mother's Day is a special occasion to cherish all the incredible mothers and mother figures in our lives, highlighting their countless sacrifices, unwavering love, and infinite wisdom. This day is an opportunity to express our gratitude to these strong and nurturing women who shape our world, empowering us to be the best versions of ourselves. 

While not directly tied to environmental causes, it's a wonderful time to teach eco-friendly practices and showcase sustainable ways of celebrating the love we share for our mothers.

Check our zero-waste gifts for some ideas to help recognize mums without waste.

Read more: Mother's Day.

Honor Our LGBT Elders Day 

May 16 (International)

Recognize and appreciate the sacrifices, struggles, and achievements of our LGBT elders. It's an opportunity to show gratitude for their trailblazing efforts and their vital roles in promoting LGBT rights, equality, and visibility.

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May 17 (International)

Shedding light on the ongoing discrimination and violence faced by LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide, this day champions equal rights, acceptance, and understanding, embracing gender and sexual diversity.

Related: Official Website | Pride Quotes.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

May 21 (International)

By embracing and appreciating the diversity of our global community, we foster mutual understanding, tolerance, and respect. This international celebration encourages communities to learn from one another and work together to address global challenges, including environmental issues, social inequalities, and other barriers to progress.

Related: Official Website.

World Biodiversity Day

May 22 (International)

International Day for Biological Diversity seeks to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the myriad forms of life on Earth. This particular day emphasizes the role of biodiversity in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and its impact on global sustainability, health, and overall well-being. 

Through events, educational campaigns, and community involvement, it aims to inspire collective efforts in protecting our planet's unique and diverse biological resources for the future.

Related: Official Website | Biodiversity Facts.

Harvey Milk Day

May 22 (International)

Harvey Milk Day commemorates the life and achievements of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, USA. The day is dedicated to promoting equality and diversity, raising awareness of LGBTQ+ rights and advocacy, and honoring Milk's enduring legacy in the fight for civil rights.

On this day, people are encouraged to engage in activities promoting equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Read more: Harvey Milk Day.
Related: Pride Quotes, Equality and Diversity Quotes.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day

Fruit and veg art
Image: Midjourney

May 26 (USA)

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day is an annual initiative encouraging individuals to enrich their diets with more plant-based foods. This awareness day promotes the importance of embracing a balanced and nutritious dietary lifestyle that benefits personal health and supports sustainable and eco-friendly food production practices.

World Multiple Sclerosis Day 

May 30 (International)

World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day is dedicated to raising awareness about this potentially disabling neurological condition affecting millions worldwide. This day advocates for improved access to quality healthcare, better resources, and increased research for treating and eventually finding a cure for MS. The event also fosters community-building among those affected by the disease, empowering them to live better lives and have their voices heard.

Related: Official Website.

World No-Tobacco Day 

May 31 (International)

This global observance aims to raise awareness of the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourages the implementation of effective international tobacco control policies.

Related: Official Website

National Save Your Hearing Day

May 31 (USA)

National Save Your Hearing Day is a perfect reminder to prioritize the protection of our hearing. The day serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the causes of hearing loss and emphasizes the importance of adopting preventative measures to preserve our auditory health. 

May Awareness Weeks

Air Quality Awareness Week

First week of May (USA)

Spearheaded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this week is devoted to enhancing public knowledge about air pollution, its consequences on health, and eco-friendly strategies for improving air quality. 

Related: Official Website.

Teacher Appreciation Week

First full week of May (USA)

Teacher Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration honoring teachers' roles in student development and societal growth.

This dedicated week encourages students, parents, and communities to show their gratitude to educators through thoughtful gestures, words of encouragement, and various recognition events. This observance not only highlights the challenging work of teachers but also seeks to bolster their morale.

Read more: Teacher Appreciation Week.

International Compost Awareness Week

First full week of May (International)

This global initiative is dedicated to spreading awareness about the advantages of composting and the importance of recycling organic waste for a greener and healthier planet.

Related: Official Website | What You Can and Can’t Compost.

National Women's Health Week

Begins on Mother’s Day for a week (USA)

Focused on promoting women's health, this initiative highlights the significance of prioritizing wellness, adopting healthy habits, and scheduling regular check-ups to ensure a higher quality of life.

Related: Official Website.

National Vegetarian Week

Third week in May (UK)

Celebrating the benefits of a vegetarian diet for both the environment and personal well-being, this week encourages people to explore and enjoy delicious plant-based meals through various engaging events.

Related: Official Website | Vegetarian Quotes.

All awareness months, days, and observances by month:

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