The mental health of an individual affects their overall well-being. Mental health manifests in a person’s behavior, perception, and relationships. And if they’re experiencing a mental health issue, they’re likely to suffer from any of these symptoms:
- Overthinking about a previous experience
- Feeling down
- Excessive worries about the future
- Avoidance of social situations
- Inability to function with daily tasks
- Dependence on addictive substances, like alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes
- Intense mood swings
If left untreated, these symptoms could lead to unemployment, homelessness, bankruptcy, or even suicide. This is why many organizations are taking a step forward to raise awareness to reduce the number of deaths associated with poor mental health. Some initiate fundraising activities just like this one for Beyond Blue or a similar organization. Now what makes understanding the importance of mental health relevant?
The Importance Of Mental Health Awareness
Mental health awareness is about promoting the importance of mental health and reducing stigma. It involves educating people about the symptoms of poor mental health and how to get help to prevent the effects of poor mental health. This way, they can get treated before they reach a state where they can’t attend to their needs and responsibilities anymore.
So, as someone who cares about the welfare of others, you’re looking for ways to be active in this cause.
How To Get Involved With Mental Health Awareness
The following are five suggestions for an advocate like you:
Research About Mental Health Issues
Before you begin spreading awareness about mental health, you must first reinforce and update your current knowledge about the topic. Research the most common mental health issues today, such as depression and anxiety. Also, dive into the effects of deteriorating mental health, such as clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and other mental illnesses. You might also want to touch on the stigmas associated with mental illnesses and other reasons people often shy away from treatments.
As you learn more about mental health, you become more equipped with the knowledge you need. That way, you’ll be more confident in reaching out to the ones who need an open mind and a helping hand.
Set Up A Booth On Local Events
Spreading awareness to people in your community is a good start if you want to be a mental health warrior. You can consider looking for local events with a lot of foot traffic and then ask the organizers if you can set up a booth focusing on mental health awareness. If one agrees, encourage your family, coworkers, schoolmates, and friends to join your cause.
Give away freebies, like stickers and caps, with messages about mental health to make your booth stand out. This ensures that the attendees who wear them give the initiative free advertising after the event.
Leverage Social Media
Since many people now have mobile devices and use social media, why not leverage these tools? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all help you reach a wider audience. This can mean that if you post anything online, it might spread like wildfire.
However, you must be strategic. The trick is to use hashtags for your posts so that people can find them more easily. A hashtag can be ‘Mental Health,’ ‘Self-Care,’ ‘Healing,’ or ‘Anxiety.’ If possible, consider tagging your friends so that their acquaintances can also read your post. Just ensure you don’t seem spammy, as you could become annoying to them.
You may also follow pages focusing on mental health and share their content to help them generate more readers.
Volunteer At A Local Crisis Center
Consider committing to a local mental health crisis center if you have time. They aim to support those in need and offer excellent service to the community.
If you choose to work with them, you might even become a trained crisis counselor who helps texters solve their concerns. This role includes active listening and guiding the patients as they work through their issues. You can also volunteer as an online chat specialist or by taking calls from people at risk of suicide.
By taking on these roles, you show that you’re invested in helping the ones dealing with mental health issues.
It’s good to be an active ambassador of mental health. To show your activism in this area, first and foremost, you need to make sure your personality and character reflect a healthy state of mind. So you have to take care of your well-being. Because if you don’t, you may get overwhelmed from being there for others.
Some good self-care practices may include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and trying yoga. You should also go out with your friends or take a bubble bath at the end of the day. Don’t forget to practice mindfulness through meditation to calm your mind.
As you indulge in self-care, why not share it with people online? Share a story about why you’re doing this and why it matters for others to do it. You can also offer that you’re willing to listen to their concerns. In doing so, you become a safe space for others. Just take a step back and set boundaries once you feel information overload.
Summing It Up
Stepping toward becoming a mental health advocate is an excellent way to care about other people’s mental states. This includes educating people about the importance of getting treatment for anxiety and other mental illnesses. You can do this by volunteering or sharing credible content on social media. You can also focus on self-care and communicate its importance so others can care for themselves. Most importantly, don’t forget to inform people why getting professional help is essential. That way, they’ll receive the treatment they need to manage their illnesses.