World Mental Health Day occurs every year on October 10, to stress the visibility of something often perceived as invisible. This day goes beyond challenging people to not only become more aware of mental health, but also urges the public to take action and become advocates for it as well.
Here are a few ways to start advocating for mental health at work, home, and at any point in your day-to-day life.
Send out companywide newsletters
People tend to fear what they don’t understand, so the stigma pertaining to mental health comes from a lack of knowledge surrounding it. The more we allow ourselves to understand mental health for what it is– a health issue–we can change the negative connotation surrounding it and offer support instead of overlooking it.
Invest time in communication
Take the time to simply check in with your employees or employers, family, friends, and even aquaintences. If you notice someone seems to be struggling– say something. See if you can be an open ear for your coworkers, or even a helping hand. Maybe see if there are any accommodations you can assist with to make them more comfortable in the workplace.
Donate to a mental health organization
There are plenty of organizations doing a lot of good in the mental health care community–but in order to do great work, you need the funding to move forward. Find an organization that aids in prevention, treatment, and research– such as Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) so, even if you aren’t a health care professional, you can take comfort in knowing you are backing those who are trying to further the worlds knowledge surrounding mental health.
Mental Health first aid courses
Mental Health is an umbrella term for various kinds of mental health communities that require different kinds of assistance. In order to better understand different forms of mental illness, you can take part in Mental Health First Aid courses that will help you learn how to help someone struggling in various types of situations.
You can locate a training course nearest you through an organization called Mental Health First Aid. You will be able to type in your location, find a venue, and register directly on the website.
Make the world a more inclusive environment by encouraging open conversations surrounding mental health. Speak up if you notice someone struggling at work, in public, or in your personal life. Take the time to educate yourself on something that effects a large portion of our population, you would be surprised how small acts of kindness and awareness can generate change surrounding mental health.