May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to educate the public on mental illness to eliminate the stigma. One in every five adults in the US has a mental health condition, meaning most people have been touched by it in their lifetime. You can show your support with activities like mental health fundraising or by sharing your experience with others.
Statistics that ignite you to take action
- Mental Health America reports that 56% of adults in the U.S. with a mental illness don’t receive treatment.
- Of the adults who were left untreated, 50% reported the inability to pay for the high costs.
- Depression among youth is on the rise from 5.9% in 2013 to 8.2% in 2018.
- 64.1% of adolescents facing major depression don’t receive treatment.
- The second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 29 is suicide.
Seven ways you can make a real impact
1. Mental health fundraising
Be an advocate for those who are struggling. Take action by crowdfunding for a cause you’re passionate about. Start raising money for mental health charities or help a loved one with medical expenses. Free fundraising on GoFundMe makes it easy for you to give back in a meaningful way.
2. Expand your education
An important step towards spreading awareness is to understand the topic. You can only become an advocate for equal care for mental health if you have all the facts. Take the time to learn about the different mental illnesses, treatments, and ways that you can offer support.
3. Start a conversation
The stigma attached to mental health makes it an unpopular topic of conversation. The only way to overcome the stigma is to create an environment where open discussion is welcome. Try talking to someone about mental health. It’s a simple gesture, but a little can go a long way.
4. Craft care packages
You can encourage sound mental health by promoting well-being. One way to accomplish this is to organize and send care packages filled with feel-good items. Things like coloring books and calming tea can be a comfort to someone with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. It’s always meaningful to show someone you care with a kind gesture. And if you want help with funding, turn to crowdfunding.
5. Share your story
Showing your vulnerabilities is a real challenge. But the impact it can have on others is profound. For example, comedian and Netflix star Maria Bamford’s fundraiser for stigma-free mental health awareness both told her story of having bipolar and raised funds for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
6. Go social
Take the initiative to create a hashtag that reflects some aspect of mental health awareness. You can encourage people to start a conversation online by asking your friends to use the hashtag with their online networks. You can also design a cover or profile photo that reminds your online network that it’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
7. Host a community-wide fundraising event
Get your local community involved by organizing a fundraising event to help raise money for mental health. The event itself will help spread awareness. You can even make it an educational event with games. Make sure you promote your event on channels like social media to get the word out.
Help address the stigma head-on by promoting education and minimizing misconceptions about mental health. Start making an impact today.