Today across the U.S. mental health advocates are not just talking about mental health, they are taking specific actions. More than 2,000 organizations, brands, government agencies and cultural leaders are going into action (much of it via social media) to support the global movement that encourages and empowers people to take action for mental health.
Action indeed. In recent years there has been more talk than ever about mental health, but talk and speeches don’t solve anything. Does your workplace have any activities planned for today?
Here’s one idea: If there was one action you could take today to improve society’s acceptance of mental health disorders as a disease of the brain, not a character flaw or hanging the problem around the victim’s head and sticking it to them, what would it be?
Go online briefly, search mental health conditions, and maybe learn something new. How one in five adults will suffer a mental health episode this year. Bring up mental health at dinner. Ask the kids what their schools are doing for students with mental health conditions. Think of people you may know with mental health disorders of some sort and ask yourself, what resources are available to them? How are they getting help? How might it be affecting their marriages, families, relationships, employment?
Ask yourself, and/or your partner, why has mental health reached epidemic proportions, according to many experts. What’s going on in society? Why are grade schoolers talking to counselors about committing suicide? And why is it a silent epidemic, with those suffering often not wanting to talk about their circumstances beyond their families? What is the fear?
Going into action doesn’t mean going to parades, rallies, sit-ins or Congress asking for more funding. There are small, private steps you can take that might lead to bigger steps down the road.
If you’re not personally affected by mental health, think about what you’ve learned about it today or conversations you’ve had about it today. Chances are it will not be a one and done day.
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