How can we raise mental health awareness? The answer isn’t as easy as it seems. Many people agree that it’s important to raise mental health awareness, but they don’t always know how or when is the best time. In my opinion, there’s no bad time to raise mental health awareness. It’s always a good time to talk about mental health, and you never know who it can benefit. In fact, I came up with five ways that you can raise mental health awareness right now! I hope one of these ways will help and inspire you to raise awareness, in your own way, this month.
Be clear where you stand on the importance of mental health. Mental health matters, and it’s more likely in this day and age that you’ll find people who agree with this statement. However, many people underestimate the importance of mental health awareness and how valuable it can be. Mental health awareness saves lives. It helps people learn how they can improve their lives, and it’s a stark reminder that we all matter. It shouldn’t just be something nice to do; it needs to be a priority.
Share local information and resources for getting help. While it’s always helpful to share national hotlines, organizations and resources, people also need to know help is close by. Connecting with my local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has had a massive impact on my mental well-being, and learning about all that my area has to offer in the way of mental health resources helped me realize help is more accessible than I realize. Find some new organizations to spotlight this month, and give your local community its due!
Openly talk about mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time for people to share their stories and talk about their experiences with mental health. Sometimes people feel like they can’t share their experience unless they experience mental illness, but we all have mental health challenges. Being open in how we talk about our mental health helps shrink the stigma. It helps other realize they are not alone, and that they can confide in others if they need. Being open about my mental health has led to a ripple effect in my personal life, with friends and family also becoming more open in the process.
Be an example and take time for your mental health! This is very similar to my first point about the importance of mental health, but it emphasizes actions more than words. Over time, I’ve learned about the tips and techniques I’ve learned to maintain mental health and wellness. I know what (and how) to make my mental health a priority, but I don’t always have the time or space to do certain things. That’s okay; sometimes life gets in the way. But our mental health should not (and cannot) be our last priority. The more we remember that, the easier it is to take that time for ourselves.
Build your own holistic approach to mental health. We’re all unique, and so is our mental health. Even though two people could be dealing with the same type of depression, they might experience it in different ways because of who they are. Each one of us handles mental health challenges differently. It’s important to find what works for us, and to build our own mental health toolkits. By building a holistic approach to mental health, we can be able to have better conversations with others about how they approach their mental health – building awareness and strength through community.
These are just a few of the many ways we can raise mental health awareness from wherever we are. Now, I want to hear from you? What do you do to raise mental health awareness, and how can other people do the same?