May is Mental Health Month 2018: National and Local Ways to Celebrate Recovery and Defeat Stigma

May is Mental Health Month is here once again. There are numerous ways to make your voice heard and to speak up for recovery and against stigma and discrimination. Here are some opportunities and resources to get involved, help raise awareness, and make change!

National Alliance on Mental Illness “Cure Stigma” campaign. According to the campaign manifesto: There’s a virus spreading across America. It harms the 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence. It prevents them from seeking help. And in some cases, it takes lives. What virus are we talking about? It’s stigma. Stigma against people with mental health conditions. But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Together we can #CureStigma.

To get involved in the campaign, check out NAMI’s May is Mental Health Month webpage, which includes social media graphics, messages, and other resources.

Mental Health America’s Fitness #4Mind4Body campaign. According to MHA, When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on heart health, or liver health, or brain health, and not whole health. You have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together. As part of our efforts this May, we’ll be asking people to take the #4Mind4Body Challenge and join Mental Health America as we challenge ourselves each day to make small changes – both physically and mentally – to create huge gains for our overall health and wellbeing.

To get involved in the #4Mind4Body campaign, check out the campaign website, which includes a toolkit and a variety of resources and opportunities for participation.

And check out the customizable resources provided by the National Council on Behavioral Health, including:

  • A “Seven Super Skills to Help a Friend” infographic, which highlights key themes from Mental Health First Aid.

  • Women & Mental Health” infographic, which features unique stats and facts about women and mental health.

  • Teen Warning Signs” infographic to educate people who work and live with teenagers on warning signs of mental health challenges. You can use this all month long, and may particularly want to use it on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (May 5).

The National Council’s website also includes a variety of other resources, including sample social media posts you can use and adapt for #MentalHealthMonth.

And there are also no shortage of local events to commemorate the month, including:

 

  • The Alameda County Everyone Counts Campaign: National Mental Health Day of Prayer and Celebration! This free, open, and family-focused event will take place on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at the Courtyard in front of the County Administration Building.

  • The Alameda County 10×10 We Move for Health event promotes wellness, exercise, and nutrition. This annual event is happening on Friday, May 4th at the Lake Elizabeth Performance Pavillion in Fremont.

  • PEERS’ screening of “The S Word” documentary film at the New Parkway Theater in Oakland on May 18th. Please reserve your ticket ahead of time.

We hope you find these local and national resources helpful. Thank you for continuing to be the voices of hope, change, and recovery, in May and all throughout the year.