Get Involved, Reach Out, Learn More, Check In, Take Care
During May, Mental Health Awareness Month, organizations everywhere have been hosting events on and off social media to raise awareness and #BreaktheStigma of mental illness.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention wants you to take one simple action to encourage friends, family and community to take mental health seriously. The Jed Foundation wants you to #Seizetheawkward and start that difficult conversation with a loved one. Active Minds wants you to take the #HereForYou pledge: Actively listen when someone is struggling. Model kindness, trust, and vulnerability. Learn about resources in your community, and commit to continuing the conversation.
It’s a great time to get involved, reach out, learn more, check in with yourself, and take care of those you love. Local resources, supports, and public education activities for Mental Health Awareness Month can be found at your local community mental health agency. Find one near you and contact them to learn about local offerings.
One example comes from Northwest Counseling & Support Services (NCSS), an agency serving Vermont’s Grand Isle and Franklin counties. This month’s YouTube interview series from NCSS, “Here for You,” features a local advocate who goes by the name of Justyce speaking about her personal experience seeking — and finding — mental health support with NCSS.
Join Nationwide Mental Health Campaigns
On a national level, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has put together the following list of activities planned for May. (Even if specific events are over, you can find program details, resources, and. many times, recordings of events, at the links listed.)
- Active Minds
- Promoting #HereForYou by encouraging individuals to take the Here for You pledge. 1) Actively listen when someone is struggling. 2) Model kindness, trust, and vulnerability. 3) Learn about mental health resources available in the community. 4) Commit to continuing the conversation.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Promoting #MentalHealth4All campaign. The effort asks people to take one simple action to encourage friends, family, and community to make mental health a priority.
- The Jed Foundation
- Hosted an Each and Every Day webinar on May 20th.
- Promoting tools on how to #SeizeTheAwkward that can start a conversation about mental well-being.
- Mental Health America
- Promoting #Tools2Thrive: providing practical tools everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency.
- Mental Health Coalition
- Hosting the 1-2-1 series every day in May on Instagram where an influencer and advocate have a conversation about mental well-being.
- Promoting the Roadmap to Friends Supporting Friends, which outlines ideas to make the process of checking in on your friends easier.
- Promoting You Are Not Alone (#NotAlone), which focuses on the power of connection for those affected by mental illness.
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Promoting messaging focused on checking in with ourselves and loved ones across social media platforms throughout the month.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline / Vibrant Behavioral Health
- Co-hosted Twitter chat on Tuesday, May 18th at 1:30pm ET with Mental Health America. The chat focused on COVID-19, its effects on mental well-being, and ways to cope with re-entry.
- Participating in Stamp Out Stigma’s Mental Health Month Twitter Chat on Thursday, May 27th from 1-2pm ET.
- Follow The Lifeline on twitter to join or read the chat transcripts.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Developing a Director’s Corner column about mental health awareness.
- Promoting the new Suicide and Serious Mental Illness report, which provides an overview of considerations, assessment, and safety planning.
- Releasing a May issue of the State Suicide Prevention Infrastructure update newsletter.
- Cross-promoting partner content on social media and in the Weekly Spark.
- The Trevor Project
- Released its third annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health in mid-May. The survey reveals new data around the impacts of COVID-19, mental healthcare disparities, discrimination, food insecurity, conversion therapy, and more. Trevor also shared a social media toolkit prior to the release.
- Other Activities
- To officially launch the Mental Health Storytelling Coalition, Action Alliance EXCOM member ViacomCBS hosted a Better Together: Mental Health Storytelling Summit on May 3-5. It aimed to empower content creators with tools to expand positive portrayals of mental health and to encourage viewers to speak up and get help. The first-of-its-kind virtual summit featured leading stars and content creators including Trevor Noah, H.E.R., Margaret Cho, Chuck Lorre, DJ Nash, Miguel, and Lisa Ling.
- ViacomCBS also brought together 200+ leading brands, nonprofits, and cultural leaders for the first national Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 20th. The goal of Mental Health Action Day is to drive our culture from awareness to action by equipping folks with tangible tools. The effort aims to help us all take action for ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. (Organizations interested in becoming a partner of this important initiative in the future can click here to learn more.)
Need to talk?
Call 2-1-1 (option #2) or 866-652-4636 (option #2) for free, confidential, one-on-one counseling. Our Support Counselors are available Monday – Friday.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, you can: call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-825; text VT to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7; connect with your local community mental health agency for 24/7 support.
Find mental health help
Find resources and tools for coping with stress at www.COVIDSupportVT.org. Follow COVID Support VT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And, to stay up-to-date, sign up for our newsletter and blog.
Learn about upcoming Wellness Workshops from COVID Support VT, and Town Halls we’re hosting in partnership with community organizations.
One-click translation to 100 languages of most everything on the COVIDSupportVT.org website, plus Multilingual Resources & downloadable materials in 10 languages common to Vermont’s New American immigrant and refugee communities.
COVID Support VT is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, managed by Vermont’s Departments of Emergency Management and Mental Health, and administered by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide network of 16 non-profit community-based agencies providing mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disability services and supports.