Wednesday, May 27, 2015

3 Ways You Can Make Mental Health a Year-Round Priority

Originally Published: May 26th, 2015

As May draws to a close, so too does Mental Health Awareness Month. However, you can make a difference in the mental health of your community throughout the year. Here are three ideas to get you started:

1.) Watch Your Language: The way you talk about mental health matters. It’s important to speak about people as individuals. Individuals living with mental health conditions are not defined by their diagnosis. They are sisters, brothers, daughters, grandparents, mothers, etc. They have talents, skills, likes, dislikes. A person is not an illness. Everyone deserves to be respected and accepted. Also, using words like “crazy,” “nuts,” or “psycho” does not show respect for those living with a mental health condition.
2.) Update Your Phone Contacts: You never know when you will encounter someone (whether it be a stranger or loved one) who needs to speak to a skilled, trained crisis worker about suicidal thoughts or feelings. Adding the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number 1-800-273-TALK (8255) into the contacts in your phone ensures that if you need to help someone (or yourself), you will have the right resource at the touch of a button.
3.) Host a Community Conversation about Mental Health: Although this will take a bit more work to put together, holding a community dialogue can help break down misconceptions and build awareness and support around mental health issues. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a free toolkit to help you with the implementation process. The Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health contains briefs, guides, and other resources designed to help you promote mental health and access to treatment and recovery services within your community.

Read the original article from Screening For Mental Health here: