Mental health awareness deals with bringing down the walls regarding mental health issues by sharing stories, opinions, and experiences. It ensures that people educate themselves about essential aspects of mental health by talking about them and supporting individuals dealing with various psychological problems and disorders. As we muddle through the global pandemic extending kindness and emotional support has become even more necessary. It is the perfect time to think about the connection between mental well-being and empathy. In fact, some studies show that random acts of kindness enhance daily life satisfaction, increase happiness, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote positive relationships between people from different races and backgrounds.
Unfortunately, we know that there is a massive stigma connected with mental health. However, the most we can do is reduce such stigma and discrimination via starting an open dialogue. We have to play our part and spread a bit of awareness for mental health patients. But, for our message to effectively reach everyone, we need to have a plan of action to have the desired effect. Listed below are ways to spread awareness about mental and hope that people listen and take immediate action.
Get in touch with government and public health officials
If you want to spread awareness about mental health, consider reaching out to government and public health officials. They are responsible for various mental health policies. They can make a massive difference if you can convince them that mental health requires the same attention as any other aspect of healthcare within a country.
Unfortunately, most of these aren’t educated enough on mental health issues themselves or adhere to age-old stigma. The perfect idea is to visit your state official office and provide them with the necessary resources that support mental health awareness and well-being.
Host mental health screening sessions
Most of us visit our dentist or doctor for an annual health checkup. However, there are many Americans who also go for regular mental health checkups. Our mental health holds the same importance as our physical health as the prior plays a vital role in supporting the latter. Suppose you have in a position of influence within the public health or patient-care domains. In that case, you can organize mental health screenings more regularly to increase awareness and facilitate people.
Hire someone who has a formal education to oversee these screenings. Or you can even pursue a masters public health online and contribute yourself actively. You can host such mental health screenings inside your office or at the local state fair. The route you take will entirely be your decision.
Your words matter a lot
As a society, we often dub mentally ill people with words that feel stigmatized. Consider the detrimental side effect of referring to someone with words like a schizo, insane, or crazy or phrases such as ‘you have OCD’ or ‘my ex is crazy.’ You have no idea whatsoever the kind of effect these harmful words will have on people and their families.
Think about it- would you want someone to refer to you as a ‘cancer guy’ or ‘diabetes lady’? No way! People have more to them than their diagnoses. Watching what you say creates a place where people suffering from mental health issues can feel at home. Use precise terms and try to be kind with the words that come out of your mouth.
Volunteer at your local mental health organizations
You may not know about it, but the chances are that your local community has many supportive mental health organizations that are in desperate need of volunteers. Furthermore, volunteering at such organizations shouldn’t only be because it is ‘Mental Awareness Month.’ Instead, it should be out of sheer compassion and a willingness to improve society as a whole.
Take some time off your busy schedule and involve yourself with local recovery centers working day and night tirelessly to spread awareness about mental health.
Speak against the myths surrounding mental illness
Unnecessary labeling leads to a mental health stigma. Getting to know the various symptoms and signs of different mental health illnesses and disorders will give you valuable insight into what a mentally ill person goes through. You can do such a thing by visiting your local group therapy home and acquiring information on mental health or acquiring an education such as an online masters in counseling degree. The latter is an excellent opportunity to contribute at a professional level. You will have better resources and skills and more influence to create a positive impact.
In addition to learning the reasons that lead to a particular mental illness, take notice of people who live with mental health issues and spread the message about their journeys to recovery. Every individual’s journey to recovery will be different. It will provide people with what they need to do to get better.
Involve the younger generation
It is of utmost importance that our children and the younger generation know about the underlying mental health issues that plague our social fabric. Educating them about mental health early on in their life will be a considerable step towards normalizing conversations about it.
We have an onus on us to promote good physical and mental health in our children. It will provide them the necessary support at a young age and help them avoid psychological and physical health issues as they grow older.
Write a mental health blog
Writing about your experiences regarding your own or other people’s mental health issues is a great way to spread awareness about it. You can write about your experiences on various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or Medium. The more frequently you write about mental health, the more you’ll educate the people who decide to follow your work.
Every person can play a crucial role in one way or another when it comes to helping out people who have mental illnesses. Be open to conversation and encourage those in need to ask for support. Raising awareness and advocating for mental health can break down countless barriers and help people suffering in silence live prosperous lives.