eNewsletter - May 2019
Behavioral Health Partners
How will you share mental health awareness this May?
In 1949, Mental Health America designated May as Mental Health Month. The purpose of Mental Health Month is to grow awareness for mental health conditions and resources, provide support and education, and elevate the mental health conversation. Each year, healthcare institutions, schools and private practice organizations across America continue this mission by participating and sponsoring mental health-focused activities.
At Linden Oaks, our employees are celebrating by wearing green t-shirts that say “Go Green for Mental Health Month.” A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts goes to the Edward Foundation to support initiatives aimed at furthering mental health services and programming.
There are many ways to support Mental Health Month. Consider designing your own t-shirt or other merchandise and donating the proceeds. Or, take action with these other ways to help celebrate Mental Health Month in your offices, schools and community:
Demystify. Whether you’re in private practice or working in a school or hospital, May is the perfect time to discuss the reasons for Mental Health Month and the stigma surrounding mental health. Talking about mental health stigma openly removes the taboo of mental illness and safely brings it to the forefront as a common issue that affects 1 in 4 Americans.
Educate. Offer and encourage nonclinical staff to take a class in Mental Health First Aid, or consider sponsoring a staff member or friend who is looking to further their clinical mental health education. Mental Health America also offers a downloadable and customizable toolkit to help educate and drive mental health awareness. The toolkit includes outreach ideas, a sample press release, and information on this year’s theme #4Mind4Body. Step outside of your regular routine to honor this month by educating and inspiring others about mental health.
Communicate. Use this month as a springboard for conversation. If you work in the mental health field, you likely talk about mental health regularly. However, take extra time this month to talk to everyone you encounter about how they can create mental health awareness. Mention Mental Health Month to your staff, coworkers, patients, students and/or family and friends. Engage them in mental health activities taking place in the community or online (like the Linden Oaks Candlelight Vigil). The more you drive positive conversation, the more likely people are to feel safe discussing mental illness and its effect on their lives.
Experience. As a mental health provider, you’re on the front line doing important work every day. During Mental Health Month, check in with yourself. Would you like more education on a certain subject? Find a class and schedule it. Do you need to incorporate more self-care to nurture your own mental health? Make changes to ensure your own mental health so you can continue to help shape the lives of your patients, students and/or community.