Mental Health Awareness Month: What Can You Do To Help?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. What is the purpose of bring awareness about mental health? Well today there is a stigma towards mental illness. Like many things it has come along way but there is still so much more room to grow.

How is Mental Health Stigmatized?

There are two types of stigma that can be in correspondence with mental health according to Psychology Today. The social stigma and the perceived stigma. The social stigma is the judgment, prejudices and discrimination from others about mental illness and towards those with a mental illness. The perceived stigma is that in which we perceive others of having. This an often be due to our own shame we feel others are judging or discriminating against us due to our mental health.

Ways to Fight the Mental Health Stigma

  • Talk openly about mental health. Share your story.
  • Educate yourself and teach others.
  • Be aware of the language you use. Know what is best not to say to those with mental health concerns and learn what is helpful and reassuring. Remember too each person is different. Each person may need different things for reassurance. Be open and understanding.
  • Learn about the suffering of those with mental health concerns. There is a current separation of how physical illness is treated compared to mental illness. Help bridge the gap.
  • Support each other. Whether or not you have a mental illness or not, support each other. Be aware of mental health concerns, educate yourself, be there for someone that may need your support. Be open and honest and as understanding as possible.
  • Do not hold personal stigma. This is mostly for those with mental health concerns. Do not stigmatize yourself. Do not hold shame for your health concerns.

Why is Bringing Awareness So Important?

Hiding, feeling shame, and feeling broken are huge problems for those who suffer from mental illness. When there is a stigma towards mental illness we do all these things. The stigma can actually be detrimental to those with mental illness and can actually make them worse. Feeling shame for their anxiety, depression, bipolar, or other disorders can make them feel worse about their diagnoses. It can make them feel broken and unworthy.

When those with mental illness are able to openly discuss their mental health they are able to come to terms with who they are, get help when needed, and fight the fight they need to survive. Also, when those with mental illness are able to share openly without fear of judgment or discrimination they also find many others also suffering. This connection helps each individual. They are able to share their experiences and know, they are not alone.

What can you do?

Educate yourself. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they are a wonderful organization that works to help those with mental health concerns, bring awareness, and end stigma and discrimination. They have a great page of resources. One of which I highly recommend has several movies to watch. Take a look.

Take the Pledge

NAMI has a great pledge to end stigma. In taking the pledge you promise to “learn about mental health—educate myself and others; see the person not the illness—strive to listen, understand, tell my own story; take action—spread the word, raise awareness, make a difference.” Take the Pledge Here. 

Sarah

Do you suffer? Do you know someone who does? How can others help? Please let others know what helps you?

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22 thoughts on “Mental Health Awareness Month: What Can You Do To Help?

  1. Thank you so much for posting a blog and giving awareness to mental health. This needs to be talked about more.

  2. It is so good to bring awareness, and to let people know that they are not alone. I went through some serious depression and I think I felt even that much more isolated.

  3. What a great post. I have walked the NAMI walk more than once and raised over $500 for one of the walks (all thanks to my amazing family and friends). It’s a great cause!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the difficult subject of mental health and for bringing awareness to the public so they can be more compassionate toward sufferers.

  5. Yes, I suffer from mental illnesses as they can often go hand in hand. I think the most helpful thing for me personally was when someone, well a few someones, told me they understood that my illness was like the flu or a bad cold. Most of the time they seen me as absolutely fine though a bit hard on myself and when they seen symptoms of my disorder they knew to treat me with kindness and as who I am regularly but ask if they could in any way help because that is what they would do if I indeed had the flu. I felt so respected, it really lifted me up.

  6. This is great post and I am glad you have decised to talk about this subject. More people should be made aware to rise above this issue. This was a great reminder for me to always remember to be kind. Thank you.

  7. This is such a great post and a big information of awareness regarding mental health and those are really good ways to fight mental health stigma.

  8. Well done for bringing mental health awareness month to your blog. It is a shame that MH can still be such a stigma, we need people to speak out more. This definitely gave me a lot to think about.

  9. Raising awareness is something that needs to be done year round an not just within a certain month. You have provided a lot of help.And if it helps just one person then it has done its job.

  10. I am a huge advocate of treating and taking care of yourself. It doesn’t need to be kept hush hush. It is helpful to know that “real” people struggle with their mental health.

  11. Bringing awareness is super important! I believe everyone should be informed on mental health and the steps we can take to help others and ourselves.

  12. I suffer from anxiety and I have had issues with depression in the past. It’s not something to be ashamed of – We live in a crazy world and have to deal with a lot of stressful situations. Many of us have suffered some sort of abuse in our past. Sometimes we just need some help getting through the tough times And there’s no shame in that!

  13. Sharing your story is so important! I love that many celebrities are revealing their struggles with mental illness to show the rest of us that it is not weird or shameful and that even the richest and “coolest” people experience it too.

  14. Thanks you so much for posting about mental health awareness on your blog. It is such an important topic and not talked about enough!

  15. It’s sad that mental health is sort of scraped under the rug as though it was someones mistress or something! I have lost a few people very close to me who suffered from mental illness behind closed doors! This needs to change ASAP!

  16. Great post! It is very informative and helpful. Learning more about mental health and raising awareness is so important.

  17. Fantastic post and so informative. Love that there is a mental health awareness month and people are doing their bit to speak about mental health and wellbeing more. As a trainee clinical psychologist I couldn’t support this more!

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