Speak Up for Kids

May is Mental Health month, and it is wonderful to see how the revolution for more conversations regarding mental health has increased over the years. I remember being in graduate school a few years ago and still having to explain to friends and family members what it is that I exactly do when I say I am studying to become a clinical psychologist. Or just plain psychologist. Or mental health provider.

To see campaigns such as the Child Mind Institute‘s Speak Up For Kids is a great way to have the community learn more about mental health and wellness and how to combat mental health stigma. The #MyYoungerSelf project has been a huge hit in social media, where famous and prominent individuals openly share their experiences with mental health issues during their youth and offer words of advice to their younger selves and today’s youth.

Here is Rachel Bloom speaking on her history with depression and anxiety:

Even in television, a great discussion is afoot regarding the new Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”. The topic of depression and suicide has people talking about whether this show either romanticizes, glorifies, or shows suicide to be a viable way of dealing with one’s problems. Having previously been immersed in the research field of suicide and self-injury, studies have shown that the mere discussion of suicide does not increase one’s propensity to engage in the behavior. On the contrary, individuals are more likely to have already been thinking about it, and that it is actually more helpful to be able to see that there are others who are open to talking about tough issues and deep, sad feelings with you. Either way, it is incredible to see that people are engaging in rich conversations about mental health and wellness.

Here are some ways to get involved in the May is Mental Health Awareness month:

  1. Join NAMI and get connected with your local chapter.
  2. Participate in May is Mental Health Awarenessdownload media toolkit materials and educate yourself, peers, and your community about various mental health and wellness topics. Fight stigma with knowledge!
  3. Contact your county, state, and national leaders and let them know the importance of mental health treatment and coverage. Reach out and advocate for mental health care. #DontCutOurCare
  4. If you are a social media savvy individual, you can do your part by sharing accurate information about mental health issues and promote helpful ways that others can boost their psychological wellness. See the American Psychological Association website for a plethora of resources.

Let us know if you have other tips and suggestions to help others get involved in the mental health awareness movement!

Featured Image Credit: Stephanie Ezcurra

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