Mental Health Week
What is Mental Health Week? And when is it?
This week (May 6-12) is Mental Health Week.
While mental illness may not affect all of us, we all have varying degrees of mental health.
Since we all deal with mental health, it is important to address and talk about. This week helps to encourage those conversations and help people talk about mental health and mental illness in open and positive ways.
For example, the hashtag #GetLoud is being used on social media in connection to Mental Health Awareness Week as a way to encourage open conversations about mental health online.
Mental Health Week is there to remind you that everyone experiences mental health in one way or another. So it’s important that you do what you can to create spaces where you can comfortably have those conversations.
Take some time to think about what positive mental health means for you and what you can do to help yourself when you’re struggling. That can look different for everybody.
We have lots of other blog posts about self-care that you can check out as a place to start and get some ideas.
There are also TONS of other resources out there you can seek out too.
Why is talking about mental health important?
Being more open and comfortable with yourself when it comes to mental health can make it easier to start more conversations about it with other people. This can make it easier to not only help yourself but also to help the ones around you who might be struggling too.
I was recently at an event with roughly 100 people in the audience where the speaker asked us to raise our hand if we or a loved one had been affected by mental illness.
Every single person in the room put their hand up.
This example is so telling of how impactful mental health is to every single person every single day. Mental health can be an uncomfortable subject to approach but it is certainly an important one.
Having more open conversations and attitudes about mental health can help to break down the difficulty of talking about it and even help encourage people to get the help they need when they need it. Even if that just means talking to a friend when we need to.
What can I do and where can I learn more?
Mental Health Awareness Week is all about starting these conversations and reducing the stigma about mental illness. It’s about showing each other that no one is alone and that we all have our own struggles.
This week (and every other week) you can try to get engaged in these conversations about mental health. Whether that means sharing a post online to show your support and understanding, talking to a friend or family member about mental health, going to local mental health positive events, speaking to the people in your city that can create change around mental illness or even just taking some time to be with yourself and recognize the struggles that can sometimes accompany mental health.
Changing attitudes about a big issue like mental health can be difficult - but it’s not impossible. So please take the time to engage in mental health positive activities this week and show your support for others who are struggling too. Even if that just means talking about it over coffee with a friend. Every little bit of talking about mental health can help to move attitudes about it in the right direction.
The Canadian Mental Health Association has also shared more information about Mental Health Awareness Week that you can look at for more information.