I’ve said this many times on the blog, but I talk a lot about mental health. It is a subject that concerns me all the time, and the more I discuss it, the more it comes up in everyday life. I consider mental health an important part of people’s lives, which is what makes Mental Health Awareness Month so important as a mental health advocate. But how do you spread awareness on a topic as broad and far-reaching as mental health? Where does a person even begin? Today, I’m sharing four of the top ways I can spread mental health awareness in my work, and how each of these methods help reduce stigma and start a mental health discussion.
Share mental health posts
I’ve decided to start small with my tips. One of the easiest ways to spread awareness about mental health is to find content online that you can expand on social media. If you’ve never shared anything like this on social media, it may lead to questions or comments in your post – that’s fine!
There is a strong belief that the only people who post on mental health related topics have to deal with mental health struggles, and that is simply not true. Sometimes something as simple as sharing a post can let people know that you understand the importance of mental health and that it’s okay to be wrong.
Talk to family and friends about mental health
When I first learned more mental health information and statistics, I used Mental Heath Awareness Month as an excuse to start conversations about mental health with family and friends in my life. Now is a good time to have face-to-face conversations and check-ins with people on a topic that can be difficult to discuss.
For a long time I thought that these conversations had to be ~ perfect ~ and that we’d both leave the interaction with a greater sense of purpose and motivation. Now I have learned that by asking about mental health, I continue to spread the awareness that it should be a priority for our wellbeing, even if we are not always doing so well.
Find out about mental health
Mental health has been a prevalent topic in America for decades. While the pandemic has only added to the problems this country has in dealing with mental health, those problems existed a long time ago. The number of people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders has been rising steadily for decades, and more information than ever is available about the experiences of people with mental health problems. Whether it’s mental health statistics, finding new resources, or listening to people’s experiences, there are many ways to learn more about mental health education that go deeper than the surface.
Share your own experiences
This has proven to be my most effective method for sharing mental health awareness. By sharing my mental health experiences, there were more mental health conversations than I ever thought possible and I was able to learn so many stories, some of which had never been shared before.
One big misconception I had about sharing my own experiences was that I thought that speaking about my own mental health experiences required a qualifier. I thought I needed my depression or anxiety to be “bad enough” before opening up, but that was a mistake. Everyone can talk about their own mental health because each of us has it! No person is 100 perfect all the time, and the more we talk about these experiences, the more we have an ongoing conversation about mental health.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve learned to spread mental health awareness over time – but I want to hear from you? What are some of your most effective ways to spread mental health awareness? Let me know in the comments!