May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a time to really stop and check in with yourself, with the people you love, and with the people you surround yourself with.
We hear about mental health in the news each and every day.
- The negative: shootings, suicides, and bullying.
- The positive: simple acts of kindness and an understanding and appreciation that you don’t know what other people are going through, so grant them the grace you wish for yourself.
This list from a New York school district’s website shares ways you can reduce the stigma against mental health
- Treat people equally.
- Acknowledge that words have power – be careful how you speak to people.
- Don’t use mental health terms lightly.
- See the person, not the illness.
- Be a positive mental health role model.
- Get the facts right.
- Educate yourself about mental health.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it.
- Show care and compassion to those who are suffering with mental illness.
While we may not be young students in a classroom (the audience this list was intended for), we will always have the capacity for learning, just as long as we’re willing to acknowledge there’s room for growth.
If you are looking to educate yourself on mental health or get involved in mental health advocacy, here are a couple great resources for you:
If you’re looking for help and don’t know where to turn, you can call NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at 800-950-NAMI or text ‘NAMI’ to 741741.
If you are considering suicide or know someone who is, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by simply dialing 988 and your call will be directed straight to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also check out their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
If nothing else, while we give mental health the time it absolutely deserves, please know that you are loved, that you HAVE made a positive difference in someone’s life, and that you absolutely have the power to make a positive impact on even more people. Every story has its own purpose – it’s never too late to discover yours.