May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Lots of people live with mental health conditions. In fact, they are as common as having brown eyes! Many different and effective treatments are available, which is great news, but too many people do not seek help even when they know they need it. This often is due to the stigma associated with having a mental health condition. Stigma sets a group or individual apart in a negative way. It leads to labels, stereotypes, and bullying. Stigma can make people who are already suffering feel even more isolated.
Now more than ever—in the middle of this pandemic that is causing plenty of stress and anxiety—we can show compassion and connectedness by working to reduce the stigma about mental health conditions. We can show that We’re all in this together. We can do this in a number of ways:
- Be a Chill Champion on social media—Spread the word about the importance of doing things to take care of your mental health.
- Check in on your friends and family. Try to do this as “in person” as possible, through phone or video. Sometimes it’s important just to hear a supportive voice.
Take care of your own well-being. You know how on airplanes they always tell you to put on your own safety mask first…before helping someone else? That’s because you’re a better helper when you have your own basic needs met. Here are some things that can get you started.