If there is one thing we should have a conversation about all year round in the modern world, it is mental health. Technology, social media, and the general busyness of the capitalist society have left us scattered and misdirected. Over one in five adults have a mental illness in the US, and one in twenty-five, live with a serious mental illness.
May is an entire month dedicated to mental awareness, which is why there is no better time to talk about this. So, if you want to elevate your mental health in 2023 and gain awareness, you are in the right place. Here is what you need to know.
Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?
Mental health awareness is important because many people focus on their physical health but neglect mental health. They think that mental illnesses are not as debilitating as physical illnesses, which is why they don’t do anything about it. Besides that, there is also a stigma attached to mental health which hinders people from openly talking about it with others.
However, awareness and openly talking about it can encourage people to prioritize their mental health so that they can live well-rounded lives. As an individual, you should also find different ways to educate yourself and raise awareness among others. If enough of us start doing this, the people around us will be more open with what they are struggling with.
Get Active: How To Elevate Mental Health Awareness
You don’t have to dedicate a month to elevate mental health awareness. Instead, you can get active and find ways to get involved with mental health awareness all year. These include the following:
1. Educate Yourself
The first thing you need to do is educate yourself because if you are not aware, then you can’t extend that awareness to others. There are many resources online and in your local community that will help you understand mental health better. You will also find various self-help books on mental health that will improve your knowledge on the matter.
Once you have enough information, you can start spreading this information to the people around you. Create a comfortable atmosphere with your loved ones where everyone can openly talk about mental health and share their insights. Doing this will also encourage other people to learn more about mental health, which will boost their awareness.
2. Support Organizations That Advocate Mental Health
Now that you have enough information on mental health, you can find organizations in your region that are doing their part in advocating mental health. There are many non-profits, communities, and individuals that are trying hard to help people by spreading awareness and offering services. For example, many art therapists also hold workshops and go to local schools to offer their services for free to help children.
So, it is time to conduct some research to find out about the organizations operating in your area. Once you have this information, you can either offer them a monetary donation or your time. This means that you can volunteer for their cause or offer anything else you can that would help them advocate mental health.
3. Prioritize Your Mental Health And Well-Being
You can’t talk about mental health and help others if you are not feeling good yourself. Therefore, it is crucial to take care of your mental health so that you can be a better person to yourself and the people around you. There are various ways that will help you take care of your mental health, but you have to find out what works for you.
Some of these ways include the following:
- Going for a walk
- Doing deep breathing exercises
- Taking up a new hobby, such as painting, dancing, singing, gardening, etc.
- Having a good sleep schedule
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet
- And more
These are small ways, but they can make a big difference to your mental health. You will have to go through a process of trial and error to see what strategies work best for you. Once you find this out, you can incorporate more of it into your life to boost mental health.
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Key Takeaways From Mental Health Awareness Month 2023
Thanks to the wonders of technology, there are many resources and initiatives available that offer mental health support to people. These include therapy, support groups, online resources, books, hotlines, and much more. You can find support among any of these things if you feel like you are struggling with your mental health.
Some of these hotlines include:
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health): You can text NAMI at 741471 or call them at 800-950-NAMI
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration): 800-662-4537
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 800-273-8455
NAMI is a popular organization, and they also hold various fundraisers and events throughout the year to help people struggling with mental health. For example, NAMIWALKS is one of their most popular events where people walk, raise funds, and promote awareness about mental health.
There are also hospitals and local therapy practices that host sessions on mental health to raise awareness. So, make sure you conduct some research to find all the organizations and people in your area making a difference. Once you do, you can also join their efforts to help raise awareness and support people that are struggling with their mental health.
These are all the ways in which you can take care of yourself, help others, and raise awareness about mental health. Mental illnesses are just as real and scary as physical illnesses, and we should manage the symptoms before they escalate further. This can’t happen unless we have proper knowledge of how we can take care of mental health.
So, make a promise to yourself to talk more about mental health and raise awareness so that your loved ones can reach out to you. Sometimes, the people closest to us are struggling, and we have no idea about it. All we need is an environment of support and acceptance to open up.