The goal of Mental Health Month is to bring attention to the issue of mental health. The more people know, the more they can do to help our cause. With knowledge comes understanding; a willingness to share experiences, provide support and reduce stigma. The best way for you to help raise awareness in your community is to attend or host an event. While Mental Health Month serves a great call to action for us to work together, it is important to remember that these events can be held year-round too!
Many NAMI Affiliates and State Organizations may already be holding events so please reach out to your local NAMI to see how you can get involved. You can also plan a program on your own. The opportunities are endless, but we came up with a few ideas for you:
- Governor or Mayor’s proclamation: Get your local leader to officially recognize May as Mental Health Month
- Feature story in print or television media about a NAMI member or family: Help get your story out there for people to read
- Facebook and other social media messages: Share content with your friends and family about mental health and follow @NAMICommunicate on Twitter and NAMI on Facebook for up to date mental health news. You can also share your story on our blog, You Are Not Alone.
- Health fair participation: Share information about mental illness and mental health resources
- NAMIWalks: Participate in a NAMIWalk
- Art exhibit or concert: Featuring artists with mental health connections or experiences or donate the ticket proceeds to NAMI
- DIY Fundraising: Plan an event around your interests as a fundraiser for NAMI
- Poetry reading or play: Share poems about mental health to educate friends and family
- Bookstore displays: Feature books about mental health or have an author come in and sign copies
- Donation of mental health books to libraries: Help educate the public especially those who may not normally have access to information
- In Our Own Voice presentations: Listen to people share their stories of recovery
- Movie screenings: NAMI offers screening guides for Frankie & Alice and Call Me Crazy that feature mental health in a holistic or positive way.
- Faith-oriented events: Discuss mental health in your place of worship
- Candlelight vigil: Honor someone you have lost and talk about ways to improve resources in your community