By Luna Greenstein
We are entering one of the most significant awareness events of the year, Mental Health Month. May is a time when the mental health community can spread information, resources and support to new audiences. It’s also a time to increase our advocacy efforts to push for mental health reform and, as a result, improve the mental health system for everyone affected by mental illness.
You may already have a plan for how to get involved during this important time of year. If you aren’t sure what you can do, here are a few steps to help make a difference:
Step 1: Live it
Make this movement a part of your life by pledging to be #stigmafree. The perfect way to kick off Mental Health Month is to committing to educate yourself and others, see the person and not the illness and to take action on mental health issues.
Step 2: Share it
Now that you are living the stigmafree life, let your networks know. An effective way to spread awareness is through sharing inspirational posts on social media. Tell your Facebook friends that you took the pledge and encourage them to do the same. Tweet and motivate your followers to learn more about mental health. Take an insta of you sporting your favorite green outfit in support of mental health reform. Share your mental health journey on one of NAMI’s tumblr accounts, You Are Not Alone and Ok2Talk. If you aren’t sure what to post, check out these sample tweets and messages. Remember to use #stigmafree and #MentalHealthMonth in your posts.
Step 3: Show it
A valuable way to show your support for this movement is to advocate for improvements in the mental health system. We have a historic opportunity this May to encourage the U.S. Senate to vote yes for mental health care reform legislation. The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 has the ability to improve mental health services and supports, prioritize early intervention and identification, and enforce federal parity for mental health. So email, tweet or call your senators to get this legislation passed. You can be a leader in the mental health movement, and we are here to help you.
Step 4: Give back
NAMI’s priority is to educate and support those affected by mental health conditions, advocate for a better, more equitable health system, and to spread mental health awareness. These goals will make the world a better place for those who live with mental illness and their families. We can’t do this without the help of our friends. Please consider giving us a gift that will allow us to continue making a difference. We appreciate your support in helping us grow this movement.
We’re always accepting submissions to the NAMI Blog! We feature the latest research, stories of recovery, ways to end stigma and strategies for living well with mental illness. Most importantly: We feature your voices.
Check out our Submission Guidelines for more information.
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