Mental health awareness month is a necessary time to draw attention to the common issues we struggle with in life. The reality is that one in five people lives with a mental illness. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or Borderline Personality Disorder, mental health issues impact either you or someone you know or love. Here are some ways you can support mental health awareness month
1. Speak out about mental health
You can have open and honest conversations with those in your life about mental health—the more transparent about your struggles, the better. You never know what will happen when you share your story. If you have panic attacks, talk about them. If you’re living with PTSD, speak up. You can help someone just by sharing what you’ve experienced.
2. Talk about mental health awareness month on social media
Mental health awareness month is popular online. You can speak about how you’re an advocate for the cause online. If you’re not sure what to say, you can always share a post from a mental health organization or an outspoken advocate you know.
3. Get active
Check out if there are any meet-up activities in your area about mental health. Mental health advocates often organize walks or events where you can take part in the movement in person. It’s an exciting feeling when you’re around others who share the same passion for mental health. So get out there and be active!
4. Organize a mental health event
Whether you form an online event or one held in person, you can organize your own gathering for mental health. You have the chance to get involved in the mental health movement and influence those around you. It could be an event where people meet up to share their stories about living with mental illness or have lunch together. You can organize a group of speakers. Think about the type of event you want to host in honor of mental health and do it.
5. Ask mental health advocates what you can do to help
If you’re unsure of how to get involved during mental health awareness month, you can always ask the advocates you know how to get involved. There are people who are passionate about the cause, and they will need help amplifying their voices.
6. Support your local NAMI chapter
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a national organization whose goal is to raise mental health awareness. It has many active chapters. Depending on what city or town you live in, there’s a NAMI group in your area where you can get involved. You can also participate in national movements. Check out NAMI.org for more information on mental illness and advocacy.
7. Attend a mental health speaking engagement
There’s something powerful about seeing someone who has been through mental health struggles speak about them. During the month of May, find a speaker event to attend. You will learn about someone’s personal struggles and become inspired.
8. Share your story online
There are many places where you can share your story online. NAMI offers a place to talk about your personal mental health journey. You can also check out www.stigmafighters.com for a place to write about your mental health journey. If you have a blog, that’s a great place to write your mental health story.
9. Learn about different mental health conditions
It’s important to educate yourself about mental health conditions. During mental health awareness month, you can dedicate some time to researching various mental illnesses. Maybe you’d like to learn more about Dissociative Identity Disorder or PTSD. You can take some time to educate yourself about these conditions. That’s one way to fight against the stigma of mental health.
10. Speak up when you hear stigma
Mental illness is still highly stigmatized, but we can do something about it. If you hear someone making assumptions about mental health, don’t stay silent. Speak up and correct that person. It’s important to educate others about mental health. That’s one of the best ways to fight stigma.
Getting help for mental health
Therapy is an ideal place to seek help for mental illness. During mental health awareness month, remind yourself that it’s okay to be vulnerable and find a therapist. You can see a therapist online at a company such as BetterHelp or find a provider in your neighborhood. The most important thing is to seek help for your mental wellbeing, and you can do it!