We Asked, You Answered!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is spreading the message that no one’s mental health is fully supported until everyone’s mental health is fully supported. Our #MentalHealth4All campaign encourages everyone to participate in supporting this message by taking a simple action to motivate their friends, family, and community to take their own and others’ mental health seriously.
We all have different experiences with our own mental health, and our own preferred methods of care and support. We wanted to hear how you, personally, support #MentalHealth4All in your community, so we put the question out on our @afspnational social media channels. Here’s how some of you responded!
How do you raise mental health awareness in your community?
By creating an open dialogue with my friends and family to create more compassion and understanding around mental health.
Volunteering for an AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk, and encouraging friends and family to participate.
Openly and honestly sharing my own story with hopes of inspiring others to also share their story.
I use my personal social media to let others know they’re not alone.
Sharing that I’m in therapy, and talking about the full range of emotional experiences I have.
What programs have you brought to your community?
I attended AFSP’s bereavement support group facilitator training, and have since hosted several support programs in my community that have created a safe space for suicide loss survivors to feel seen and heard.
I brought an Out of The Darkness Campus Walk to my university. Everyone was so supportive, and it really meant a lot to the students involved.
I regularly present AFSP’s Talk Saves Lives program in my community. I see new faces every time, and am constantly forming connections centered on a cause we all really care about.
I’m spreading awareness in my community by wearing shirts with positive mental health messages, such as, “You matter.” You never know who it might speak to.
How will you help advocate to create a culture that’s smart about mental health?
I’ve created a plan for regularly reaching out to local politicians and representatives about prioritizing mental health. AFSP’s Action Center is a great place to get started.
How we talk about mental health is so important, I try to correct language that may be stigmatizing and am working to normalize honest conversations.
I’m implementing AFSP’s mental health programs into school curriculum and staff training. Learning about mental health should be just as important as P.E., home economics, nutrition, etc.
We all have mental health, therefore we should all be doing our part to spread awareness. Something as simple as openly talking about it can help shift the culture.
I’m constantly telling others, “You are not alone.” These four words are powerful and can help save a life.