Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May for over 70 years, providing a dedicated time to open up the national conversation on mental health and working to break down the stigma of mental illness.
Are you surprised that it’s been a 70 year-initiative in the making? Great strides have taken place as humanity works to make the topic of mental health one we embrace and talk openly about, no different from physical health and well-being. From the White House to celebrities and pro athletes, to brands big and small choosing to use their platforms for the greater good, we’re headed in the right direction.
Talking openly and sensitively about mental health is essential year-round, and there are many ways to contribute to advocacy, outreach, or awareness efforts. As individuals, we have a lot of influence and ability to change the stigma of mental health, and it starts with each of us committing to learning more and being open to new vulnerabilities as we grow.
As a collective, we’re a force to be reckoned with.
Here’s to all of you who help make that force even stronger.
Reyne & Scott Roeder
How You Can Help
Normalize mental health. Make it part of your vocabulary and how you check in with yourself and those around you.
Break the stigma. No one feels shame in needing to seek medical treatment for cancer, infertility, memory loss, or countless other issues humans face. Mental health should be no different. It needs to have the same resources and accessibility as anything else health-related.
Own Your Story. Mental illnesses are very common in the U.S., with one in five American adults living with one—that’s 51.5 million people. You are not alone! Sharing your perspective and struggle only opens you up to support, love, and the help you need. In turn, you’ll support others experiencing the same.
Share Resources. We openly share recommendations for dentists, gyms, and pediatricians with one another. Let’s commit to having that same mindset for mental health resources.
Commit to Change. It starts with vulnerability and seeking to understand. Change takes time, but more importantly, it takes courage. Educate yourself. Challenge your point of view, even your own stigma or shame should you feel that way. Advocate for others. Share the message—endlessly.
Buying a gift for yourself or someone you love is an act of kindness and recognition celebrating anything in life, whether a birthday or holiday or just any day that could use a little brightening. The rise of brands that advocate for social causes and awareness continues and there are many philanthropic-based small businesses and big corporations alike who help fund the advocacy and awareness that mental health needs.
Jackson’s Art—Jackson was a talented artist and much of his work has been available for purchase. All proceeds are donated to the Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund.
Pura Vida—a lifestyle brand created specifically to be cause-driven, the company has donated over $3.5M in its lifetime to a wide range of causes including suicide awareness prevention, anxiety disorders, and mental health awareness.
Sip of Hope—Chicago-based coffee roasters where 100% of proceeds support proactive suicide prevention and mental health education.
Self-Care is for Everyone—apparel line with bright, bold messages for cause and advocacy, with part of proceeds benefitting mental health and suicide prevention initiatives.
THINGS WE DON’T SAY™ IPA Craft Beer for Mental Health—14 Minnesota craft breweries joined efforts on this collaborative project created to help shift how we approach mental health. Proceeds from the sales support proactive suicide prevention and mental health education programming across Minnesota.
Corporate Brands—Free People, Lululemon, Athleta, & More—many corporate brands support mental health as part of their mission and values and prioritize employees’ mental well-being.
For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sending the message that no one’s mental health is fully supported until everyone’s mental health is fully supported. That’s why we’ve chosen the theme of #MentalHealth4All. As part of this theme, we’re encouraging everyone to take one simple action to encourage their friends, family, and community to take their own and others’ mental health seriously.
There are plenty of ways you can help support #MentalHealth4All, and we’re making it easy for you to do so, with a variety of content and shareable goodies for May. You can read more about the campaign, along with some other ideas for simple actions you can take, at afsp.org/may.
Everyone has different experiences with their own mental health and their own preferred methods of care and support. We all have mental health, and by taking one simple action, we can each help influence massive collective change to support #MentalHealth4All.
Resources & Can't-Miss:
Virtual Community Forum: Mental Health
Event featuring local professionals who will lead the discussion of the sensitive topic of mental health in our community. May 19th.
‘Stomping the Stigma’
Story from The Central Minnesota Catholic featuring the Roeder family’s story and other resources on mental health and suicide.
A Presidential Proclamation
Proclamation from President Biden declaring May Mental Health Awareness Month, “ensuring everyone knows that they are not alone, that help exists, and that we will provide the mental health support needed to heal, recover, and thrive.”
The Mental Health Update
Newsletter The Mental Health Update empowers others with accessible, meaningful mental health information delivered to your inbox weekly.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741-741