As someone who lives with chronic anxiety, mental health awareness is incredibly important to me. According to statistics, 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness every year. That means every one of us knows someone who has struggled with their mental health. Unfortunately, the stigma associated with mental disorders prevents many from seeking out the help they need. A great way for us as a society to end the stigma is to observe Mental Health Awareness Month.
Ways You Can Observe Mental Health Awareness Month
Back in 1949, Mental Health America proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health professionals and advocates spend this month dedicating time to spreading awareness. Here’s how you can help:
Schedule an Appointment with a Mental Health Professional
This is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with a professional for a mental health checkup. A professional will be able to spot the early signs of mental illness and help prevent you from experiencing a full-blown breakdown.
Check On Loved Ones
Make it a priority to check in on loved ones who suffer from mental illness. Call. Shoot them a text. Send flowers. These tiny acts of kindness can make a world of difference to those who need them the most.
Write Letters to Your Elected Officials
If you’d like to help the mental health community, consider writing letters to your elected officials. Let them know how mental illness has impacted your life and what can be done to improve mental health in your area.
Research Political Candidates
Election day is months away, but it’s never too early to prepare. Politics play a huge role in the mental health community. Learn where political candidates stand on mental health issues, and vote for someone who aligns with your views.
Support Advocacy & Advocates
Give your favorite advocates and causes a follow on social media. Further their agenda by giving them likes, shares, and participating in the conversation. In this way, you can help them spread awareness, normalize mental illness, and end the stigma.
Make a Donation
Want to make a huge impact? Volunteer. Homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and other organizations regularly work with those affected by mental illness.
Share Your Story
If I’ve learned anything in the last five months of blogging here at Cozy in Carolina, it’s that sharing your story makes a difference. When you talk about what you’re going through, you inspire others. Inspiration leads to change. And even if your words only inspire a single person, it’s totally worth it.
Take some time out for your self this month. You don’t have to be into primping to practice self-care. Self-care is more than bubble baths. It’s the act of showing our selves the same kindnesses we would show to any stranger on the streets. So if you’re not into manicures, get lost in something that brings you peace.
There you have it, realistic ways you can observe Mental Health Awareness Month! Don’t forget to drop a comment below to let me know how you plan on promoting mental health this month.