Living with a mental health or substance use condition can be difficult enough on its own sometimes. Well-meaning but unhelpful and even judgmental comments from friends and family can make things feel worse. And demonstrations of compassion and acceptance from loved ones can make all the difference in a person’s recovery process.
Time to Change, a UK-based anti-stigma charity, has created a new public awareness campaign called #IWantYouToKnow, which has started a valuable conversation on Twitter for those who want to better understand and support their loved ones living with a behavioral health condition. As described by Time to Change:
“We wanted to show how myths and assumptions about mental health problems affect the people that experience them. We’re a social movement, so it’s important that messages come directly from real people. #Iwantyoutoknow is about giving people a way to break down stereotypes and explain what mental illness is really like. By doing that, we can help to change the way people think and act about mental health.”
Some of the more common themes in the campaign include:
- I cannot just “snap out of” whatever it is I’m experiencing.
- My mental health problems are not a weakness or a personal failing.
- Though my mental health is important, I am more than my diagnosis.
- People with depression or anxiety aren’t depressed or anxious all of the time.
- Please keep including me in social activities, even if I can’t always make it.
- If we encourage people to talk about mental health, we must be prepared to listen.
- Just because I struggle sometimes doesn’t mean I’m not in recovery.
- Not all people with the same diagnosis will behave in the same way.
- There is no one-size-fits-all route to managing our mental health. What “works” for one person may not for another.
Learn more about #IWantYouToKnow:
- Twitter Moments: #IWantYouToKnow (June 20, 2017)
- This Hashtag Is for Anyone Who’s Struggled with Mental Illness (The Kveller, June 21, 2017)
- People on Social Media Are Using #Iwantyoutoknow to Raise Awareness for Mental Health (The Mighty, June 23, 2017)
Have a message to share? Participate in the conversation on Twitter using #IWantYouToKnow