Mental illness is a life situation that millions of Americans must live with year after year. These illnesses can seem even more hidden than an illness that ails the body. But it is very much real. This can affect a happy person one minute and introduce you to a completely different person the next. Those who suffer from depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder and many more must face life altering changes to their state of mind. Fortunately, May has been designated as the month to show support for those that live with mental-illnesses. Organizations have come together to raise awareness, support, and cure the stigma.
According to Nami.org, 1 in 5 Americans are affected by mental health conditions. Sadly, there is a stigma that is attached to these illnesses, and an energy of shame, fear and silence is born and festers from it. (Source: Nami) The bad attention that springs from mental health issues can even prevent someone who needs help from seeking it.
Nami is one of the organizations that is fighting to end the stigma. They have stood up and are creating campaigns to raise awareness and spread information on the issue. They have created a hash tag that directs to social media channels that house important information for interested individuals to read and learn more. The tag is: #CureStigma.
A Supportive Community
Mental Health America (MHA) is another organization spreading the word and creating platforms for those living with a mental illness to learn. Since 1949, they have aided in observing May as Mental Health Month across the country! (Source: Mental Health America) On their website, they have a toolkit that anyone can download in order to learn more, or spread the word themselves!
in the toolkit you will find:
- Fact sheets on how mental health is affected by diet, nutrition and health
- Worksheets on making life changes;
- A promotional poster, sample social media posts with images, and web banners;
- A sample press release and drop-in article; and a sample proclamation for public officials to recognize May as Mental Health Month and the work of local mental health advocates.
MHA has also created a hash tag to connect to their social media platforms. The hashtag is #4mind4body and give those who want to learn, those who live with, and those who want to end the stigma of mental health illnesses a place to find what they need and share their stories.
To Sum it All Up
There are many ways for individuals to show support to those facing mental illness head on. It can even be as simple as keeping an open mind and trying to be as considerate as possible. Sharing knowledge with someone who could benefit, by talking to your peers in person, or even making a post on social media. Do you live with or know someone else who lives with a mental illness? If so, how do you think it affects their life? Help end the stigma on mental health issues and spread the word to others about it!