Everyone has either been affected, or knows someone who has been affected by mental illness. Mental illness is a wide range of mental health conditions; including depression, anxiety, disorders and addiction. All of those affect your mood, thinking and behavior.
This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. It began Oct. 6 and runs through Oct.12. Nearly one in five Americans will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year. This week is a great way to make awareness for mental health conditions via social media. Here are some ways you can get involved in making awareness of mental illness, not just this week but all year long.
What can be done during Mental Illness Awareness Week
There are many things we can do as a community to try and prevent mental illness. First off, awareness of this condition is very important. We can increase social and professional awareness of advancements and the importance of mental health prevention. Posting images, articles, or other postings can help spread the word and provide tips for ways people can get involved with this advocady, awareness, and education.
It’s also important that you educate not only yourself, but others about mental illness. This helps you and others understand what someone may be going through, and how to properly approach each person about it. There are mental health screenings that are condition-specific, and it’s good for you to take those as well as encourage others.
How to approach someone who suffers from mental illness
- Talk to the individual in a place that is safe and comfortable for them.Try to pick a place where you won’t be interrupted and can have a focused conversation.
- Be sure to use a calm voice tone and ease into the conversation gradually. A gentle greeting can go a long way and make the meeting and conversation more meaningful.
- Be a reflective listener. Being respectful and compassionate will help them engage in the conversation and feel welcomed.
- Be open with the conversation. Allow for the individual to open up instead of directing them in the conversation.
- Speak at a level that is appropriate to their age, as well as share insights as a way to encourage easy conversation.
- Avoid criticizing, blaming and raising your voice. Also, avoid saying things such as:
- “Just Pray About it”
- “You just need to change your attitude”
- “Everyone feels that way sometimes”
It’s inevitable that mental illness will exist in the world we live in today. 46 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives, 23 percent will be by the age of 14. This is why awareness of mental health conditions is so important. Not only does awareness help educate, but helps those suffering know how special and important their life is. A simple post or share on social media goes a long way when talking about mental illness awareness week.
DREAM works with at-risk youth in developing life and academic skills, while also promoting exercise and fun. If you want to get involved or to learn more about our after-school and mentoring programs, visit our website today.