I missed Mental Health Awareness Day! Life just got in the way, but this is the post I had intended to put up.
Normally on this day I like to remind people that there is always help available, even if I feel utterly hopeless myself. Mental health affects all of us in our lifetime whether we know it or not. So here’s your reminder. There is always help available to you no matter where you are. Talk to your friends, your GP, your local mental health services. Talk to someone if you’re feeling out of sorts. If you bottle everything up it’ll all come out in one go and it will not be pretty. Now let’s talk about what you can do to help raise awareness or mental health issues.
Talk About It
Yup. Getting the obvious out of the way, but I can not stress enough how important it is to create discussions about mental health. Not only does it help to make it a normal discussion, but it also might help someone who is suffering. Don’t back away from a difficult discussion, you could save a life.
If you know more about the subject yourself then it will be easier for people to come to you when they need someone to talk to, but you’ll also feel more confident giving advice and sharing examples and educate others in the matter.
As stated above, if you educate yourself you’ll be better able to educate others and I think it’s important that we do make it our mission to make sure that people have all the accurate information they need to help themselves and other.
Ask People How They Are Really Feeling
It’s a natural reaction for us to respond with “fine” or “good” when someone asks how we are, if you suspect that someone you know is going through a hard time, try to pry it out of them. Ask them if they need to talk, ask for their honest answer. You’d be surprised how many people will be thankful that you encouraged them to talk and will encourage them to talk to others.
If you come across a site (like mine… 😉 ) with good advice or information on mental health, why not share it with your Facebook friends? Share that advice with others in the hope that you can make a difference, even in such a small way. It’s also good to share websites that provide information of services that can help people, such as counselling.
Do you have a local mental health service, charity or call centre? Why not volunteer your services and really help people, or at least bring peoples attention to them in case they should ever need to use them.
Learn Signs and Symptoms
Learning signs and symptoms of different mental illnesses can help you see them in the people around you and reach out if you see anything concerning. A lot of the time people might not even realise they are suffering with depression and might need a little nudge to go to their GP.
Blog or Vlog About It
One of the best ways to raise awareness is social media, meaning that blogs, vlogs, Instagram posts etc. are an easy way to get the word out to thousands. If you have a story share it. Ever seen those stories people write on Facebook shared around? That could be you.
Start a Group
I would love to attend “mindfulness” or “Meditation” classes. Even a mental health awareness group where people can go to talk. Start a group and encourage others to speak out and help make mental health a normalised topic.
So that’s my advice. Check out my advice on how to support someone with a mental illness as well.