Ways to Raise Mental Health AwarenessAlyssa
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in light of this time of the year, our drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach is sharing some fun ways to raise mental health awareness. Despite the advancements in research, treatment, and education regarding mental illness, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. There are still many stereotypes and stigma surrounding mental health that discourage many people from receiving treatment. You can become an active participant of Mental Health Month and help raise awareness for mental health by following these tips.
Why Should We Raise Awareness For Mental Health?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 in 5 U.S. adults – roughly 43.8 million people – struggle from mental illness each year. From anxiety to schizophrenia, mental health affects everyone in some way or another. In 2019, there were 47,511 suicide-related deaths, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. In that same year, there was an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts. While there are effective mental health programs available, many people with mental disorders never get help due to factors like stigma, stereotypes, discrimination, and lack of resources. Spreading mental health awareness can break these barriers. Even if you don’t struggle with mental health, you can play an active role in educating and inspiring others to do the same. You never know how many people you’ll help.
Simple Ways to Raise Mental Health Awareness
If you’ve never experienced mental health issues, then you may not know how to actively help others who have. Finding realistic ways to help individuals living with mental health disorders can be difficult, especially if you or your loved ones don’t suffer from these conditions. Below are some realistic ways to raise awareness for mental health that you can practice any time of the year.
Educate Yourself on Mental Health
Awareness means to be knowledgeable about a certain situation. Raising awareness for mental health begins by learning more about the different types of mental illness and how prevalent they are in your area. There are plenty of online resources that are readily accessible that offer further information about disorders like anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, and more. Learning more about mental health disorders also increases your ability to empathize with others who suffer from these conditions, allowing you to be as supportive as possible.
At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we offer a list of family resources for loved ones of individuals who struggle with mental illness, addiction, or both.
Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Different Mental Disorders
Part of educating yourself on mental disorders is learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of certain conditions. Not only can this equip you to teach others, but you may also identify a mental illness in someone who may not know they have one.
Talk About Mental Health with Everyone
The best way to challenge the myths and stigmas surrounding mental health is by talking about it. Be the one to bring up the conversation wherever you go. Ask other people how they’re doing and if there’s any way you can help them find treatment or support. The conversation won’t be had unless someone starts it; be that person.
Be Intentional About the Language You Use
Many stigmas and stereotypes regarding mental illness stem from using words like “wacko,” “insane,” “crazy,” “psycho,” “schizo,” or phrases like “I’m OCD” or “they’re so bipolar.” Mental illness is often the butt of the joke, but it’s not funny. Avoid casually throwing around words that are hurtful and degrading. Using this kind of language when discussing mental illness takes away from the severity of these conditions. This doesn’t mean you have to be the “word police,” but rather it’s about being a person who others can talk to about mental health. Being mindful of the language you use also sets the tone for the conversation.
Discuss Mental Health with Kids
Kids won’t understand the complexities of mental health if we don’t explain it to them. Many individuals who grow up and struggle with mental illness were never taught this topic as children. Especially if you’re a parent who struggles with mental health, it’s important to have this conversation with your children. Kids are naturally curious and, as an adult, you can help them understand the severity of mental disorders. You should also read up about the signs of mental illness in children. This is a great way to participate in changing the mental health conversation for future generations.
Be a Part of Local Advocacy Groups in Your Community
Policy change plays a huge role in the quality, quantity, and availability of mental health treatment. If you don’t know how to raise awareness about mental health, a simple way to do so is by voting for candidates who advocate for improvement in mental health treatment. Community outreach is also possible by participating in any local marches, fundraisers, and awareness events for mental illness.
Share Mental Health Resources on Your Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with people all around the world. Raising awareness for mental illness can also be done by sharing resources about mental health on your social media. For example, Instagram allows users to add a link to their bio. If you have multiple sources you’d like to share, you can use tools like Linktree that allow you to share multiple items through one unifying link.
At BHOPB, we’re dedicated to helping people achieve freedom from mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Call us now at 561-220-3981 to learn more about our residential mental health treatment in Palm Beach.