Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health problems affect people of every age and background. Misconceptions and stigma can prevent individuals from seeking help.
Connecting with others can be a powerful tool for emotional well-being. Whether it’s your roommates, friends or fandoms, finding your people can make all the difference. That’s why promoting connection is one of the goals of mental health awareness month.
May 1st – May 31st
The United States is facing an epidemic of mental illness, but the good news is that treatment works and recovery is possible. Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to educate people about the ways mental illness impacts their lives, raise awareness about available services, and encourage them to seek help and support.
Wearing a mental health shirt is one of the best ways to show your support for this important cause. These shirts often feature positive messaging and can help reduce stigma around mental health. They also serve as a reminder that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
1. Wear a Mental Health Shirt
Mental health affects everyone, and people struggle when they don’t have the support of a community. That’s why it’s important to be able to connect with others — even during difficult times.
People with mental illness often face stigma and discrimination. By increasing awareness, we can help reduce those barriers and make it easier for people to seek treatment.
This year, we’re asking you to use our graphics and messaging in your daily communications to raise awareness about mental health. Help us spread the message that treatment works, and that there’s always more than enough to go around. Click here to add the More Than Enough profile frame to your Facebook account.
2. Host a Mental Health Forum
Despite the fact that there is much stigma surrounding mental health, it’s important to understand that mental illness can affect anyone. It’s not a sign of weakness or poor character, and it can be treated with the right resources.
A community forum is a great way to start the conversation and educate people about the realities of mental health. It can also be a valuable tool for advocacy. For example, Thrive NYC is an initiative that aims to help New Yorkers navigate their mental health and substance misuse support options. It provides a comprehensive website with information on available services and resources, and it connects people to advocates.
3. Create a Mental Health Resource Page
Rather than frame mental health as a separate community from those who manage disabilities, participate in general wellness or are neurodiverse, integrating it into these communities can help reduce stigma.
This can be done by encouraging these communities to host events that promote wellness. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are a great place to start. Employees can join ERGs to discuss mental health issues and share their own experiences.
There are also a variety of online resources that can provide information on where to seek treatment. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides a behavioral health care service locator. The Trevor Project helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) young people under 25 find support.
4. Share Your Story
For those who are comfortable sharing their story, it is an effective way to break stigma and encourage others to seek help. This may include writing about your experience with mental illness in a blog post or video. Remember that some stories may be triggering for others, so it is important to include content warnings.
Non-profit human services organizations are dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and offer resources for those who need it. Support them by volunteering your time or donating to their cause. You can also add a mental health frame to your Facebook profile to show your support.
5. Host a Mental Health Event
During Mental Health Awareness Month, host a morning tea or coffee event and invite a local mental health advocate to speak. Ask them to talk about topics such as stress and anxiety management techniques.
Alternatively, make your break room into a space where employees can escape from technology. Encourage your team members to turn off their phone notifications for the duration of the month to avoid constantly pinging and distracting themselves.
Hosting virtual team building activities like hula hoop contests and egg races can generate laughs and encourage physical movement. Games that require more thought can help open up windows to discussions on mental health.