Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 is underway. It began today, October 3, 2021, and runs through the end of the week, October 9, 2021. This week, topics related to mental health including treatment, recognizing mental illness, and decreasing the stigma of speaking out while living with mental illness are some of the key messages being shared on social media outlets and online publications. Stigma is one of the least focused on areas of mental health throughout the year. Over the last several years, social media has widened the scope of interest in mental health to include more ideas on how to combat the stigma that surround both living with mental illness as well as taking the steps to reach out for treatment.
Stigma related to mental illness can be quite debilitating. Individuals and their loved ones struggle to find a balance between their personal psychological needs and the negative ideas spread throughout social media. Fighting this stigma can take on many different forms. Ways you can help fight the stigma that exists against different types of mental health disorders include:
Reading more about mental illness: Countless sources online offer information that can help you feel more educated about the different mental illnesses that exist. This can help you be more informed when interacting with others. This is not a substitute for consulting a licensed mental health professional. But, it can be a good start on your path to having more tools related to mental illness.
Learning more about treatment options: There are so many treatment options available for psychological concerns. Options are both online and in an office setting. Knowing these options are available can open the door for you to start exploring treatment for yourself or someone you know, in a safe setting.
Posting messages that share community or national resources: Many different mental health counseling services share resources throughout the year. Mental health awareness week is the perfect time to pay special attention to those resources and share them on your social media profiles. This can make information more accessible for individuals who might not otherwise be able to access it.
Checking in with loved ones you think might need some support: Maybe you’ve felt someone you care about may need some help. Mental health awareness week can be a good time to open the lines of communication with that person. Consider what they might need and see how you can kindly approach them.
Attend educational workshops and connect with your local mental health resources: Many local mental health counseling centers offer free workshops and tools you can access online or in the community. This week might be a good time to see what your area is offering. Try doing a search online for events which might be taking place near you.
What are ways you want to participate in Mental Health Awareness Week 2021?