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Mental Illness Awareness Week
“Other people have it much worse than you do.”
“Ever thought about how hard this is on the rest of us...”
"It's just an excuse to be lazy."
“Have you tried a new diet plan?”
“You’re a kid, what do you have to be sad about?”
It can be scary for someone to realize they may be dealing with a mental health condition. Many will reach out to those closest to them for support and understanding. For some, these experiences end up being negative due to the responses they may receive. Instead of being supportive, those closest to these individuals may say harmful and hurtful things that lead to loneliness and isolation.
Some may find relief from these negative feelings and experiences online through social media, forums, and messaging boards. It can be helpful to know that they are not the only one having these experiences. However, without a supportive network nearby, living with a mental health condition can still be hard.
There may be various reasons why people react negatively when their loved ones share their mental health experience with them: lack of information and awareness, concern for how the individual will be treated by others, or being unable to relate to this person’s experience. Even though public perception of mental health continues to move in a more positive direction – there are still many people who do not treat mental illnesses with compassion and understanding.
That’s why we feel its necessary to highlight experiences of individuals who not only live with a mental health condition, but thrive.
Learning and listening to the voices of individuals with lived experience goes a long way towards acceptance and healing. Simply listening can be enough without trying to “fix” someone. Acknowledging someone’s experience can be better than unsolicited advice.
Mental Health America would also like to share positive stories of acceptance, hope, and understanding. While stigma is still a major barrier for those struggling to reach out, knowing that there are people willing to just be there and listen can help.
It’s up to us to help change these negative reactions to positive ones.
So, how can you act B4Stage4 for Mental Illness Awareness Week?
- Share #ThingsPeopleSaidAboutMyMentalIllness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Raising awareness not only of the personal experiences people have living with a mental health concern but also the reactions they receive when they talk openly about their mental health can go along way towards acknowledging and actively fighting against deeply embedded stigma.
- Take a mental health screen and share your results. Show others that checking up on your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of - it's okay not to be okay.
Thank you for being a part of this movement!
Sample Social Media Posts to Share
- It's more critical than ever to learn and listen to the voices of lived experience through #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness so that we can all learn to be more compassionate and understanding. Share your story. Listen to others. Fight #stigma. #MIAW18
- When you shared your #mentalhealth experience with someone, what response was unhelpful (i.e. insensitive, hurtful, stereotypical, etc.)? What would have been better? Share with us using #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness. #MIAW18
- Simply listening can be enough without trying to “fix” someone. Acknowledging someone’s experience can be better than unsolicited advice. Share #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness with us. Listen and lift up others. Fight #stigma. #MIAW18
- Though public perception of #mentalhealth continues to move in a more positive direction, there are still many who do not react with compassion and understanding. Listen and lift up the voices of lived experience. Share #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness. #MIAW18
- Even if the first reactions you receive are not positive experience, finding the motivation & hope to recover is far more rewarding than the #stigma preventing you from getting help. Share #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness. Inspire others. #MIAW18
- If you're wondering what you can do to fight #stigma, look at #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness. Be informed of what can be hurtful or negative for someone who is bravely reaching out to you for support. Share your story. Listen and learn from lived experience. #MIAW18
- #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness highlights experiences of individuals who not only live with a #mentalhealth condition, but thrive. Share what you have experienced or lift up the voices of others during #MIAW18.
- While #stigma is still a major barrier for those struggling to reach out, knowing that there are people willing to just be there and listen can help. It’s up to us to help change these negative reactions to positive ones. Share #thingspeoplesaidaboutmymentalillness. #MIAW18