This is a guest post by Sam, with Depression for Teens.
1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health illness, yet 9 out of 10 face stigma and discrimination because of it. In this post I will go over why you should help raise mental health awareness.
Why Don’t People Talk About Mental Health?
Mainly because they are scared of being judged by other people. Society degrades mental illness as something to be embarrassed about.
Here are some facts on mental health:
- One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.
- Up to 10% of England’s population will suffer from depression at some point in their life.
- 6.7% of the US population lives with depression.
- 50 million people are affected by depression
- Over 800,000 people die from suicide every year
- In the UK, suicide is the 2nd largest cause of death among 15-29 year olds, and it is the most common cause of death for men between 20-49 years in England and Wales.
- In America, suicide is the third leading cause of death in both genders, ages 15 to 24 years old. According to NAMI, each day, at least 22 US veterans die from suicide.
- Over 90% of people who die from suicide have a mental health illness at the time of their death
Mental health illnesses are by no means uncommon, yet it’s hardly ever talked about.
By talking about mental health, you will be raising awareness. And by raising awareness, you will be helping give confidence to those suffering and helping talk about how they feel. And trust me, they will appreciate that.
I’m going to tell you a short story about a friend of mine.
I always had this one friend who I would openly talk to about how I feel. I felt she understood and cared. Little did I know that the person who helped me the most was fighting her own battle with depression.
Eventually I put together some pieces and figured it out. Nobody, except me, actually knew about the battle she was facing. So I proceeded to ask her why she never told anyone and why she’s fighting it all alone. Her answer was “People would judge and look down on me”.
That just proves my point, and it hurt me when I heard her answer. We help each other now, and I hope nobody else has to suffer alone. It’s really important.
How You Can Raise Mental Health Awareness
So I’m going to assume you want to help out now.
Here are 5 ways you can do so.
These 5 are actually from an E-Book I wrote for my website. You can download this E-Book for free by entering your email address. The E-Book goes into all the details of these 5 points and gives you examples for raising mental health awareness so if you are interested then be sure to check it out.
- Talk About Mental Health
This has to be the easiest and most effective way to raise mental health awareness. There are so many ways you can talk about mental health. From bringing up the conversation casually, using an excuse to bring it up and tagging it onto a conversation.
- Through Social Media
Using social media is effective because, let’s face it, some people are just more open on social media! The odds are your Facebook post or Twitter tweet will grab the attention of friends and family, who are likely to share it if they are or know someone who is affected by mental health.
- Donate to a Mental Health Charity
This is something you can do without anyone ever knowing! You don’t need to make a huge donation. You don’t even have to do a monthly one! But a donation of any type and any value is a huge benefit to many charities and mental health supporters. Below (after the 5th point) I have listed some mental health charities; sorry if I couldn’t list all of them!
- Challenging Mental Health Stigma
It’s very possible that, in your day to day life, you may hear some comments about mental health. If those comments are discriminating against or putting those with mental health illnesses down, then you can stand up against it! By challenging the stigma that surrounds mental health, you are potentially changing someone’s point of view on the subject. One change leads to another.
- Share Your Story
Show the world just how common mental health is by sharing your story. Don’t feel forced into this, of course, but by sharing your story, you will be inspiring others, giving them hope, and showing people just how common mental health illnesses are. I’ve also put some links below for where you can share your story.
Mental Health Charities
Here are some mental health charities that you can donate to if you wish. They are also a great resource for reading up more on mental health.
- In the United Kingdom:
- In the United States:
Sharing Your Story
Below are three popular places where people have shared their mental health stories. If you want, then you can also share your story with me on my blog.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of when sharing your story. And remember, you don’t have to share anything you’re not willing to share. After sharing your story, you can even go a step further and share it on your social media! #2in1.
Together we can end mental health stigma. Thank you for reading this post, and thank you again if you go ahead and help raise mental health awareness.