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Mental Health Month
May is Mental Health Month 2016
This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is - Life with a Mental Illness - and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously). Posts will be collected and displayed at mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.
Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.
|For Organizations: Toolkit Download||For Individuals|
The toolkit includes:
Media Materials including key messages, drop-in article, sample press release, and MHM Sample Proclamation
Infographic Fact Sheets that incorporate plain language explanations of diagnostic criteria for mental illnesses, first person accounts about how it feels, a breakdown of common myths and misperceptions, screening data from mhascreening.org and coping skills on the topics of Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis and Recovery.
Three worksheets that individuals can use to make a mental health plan to help them work through symptoms and challenge intrusive thoughts
Goodies for social media including sample posts and images
Banner images for the web
31 Mental Health Tips (Also known as the Calendar-Poster)
The primary call to action for the month will be for people to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them using #mentalillnessfeelslike, and the secondary call to action will be for people to take a screen at mhascreening.org if they think they are showing signs/symptoms of a mental illness. B4Stage4 will be a part of the messaging that is included throughout the materials.
Please note: MHA does not provide printed copies of the materials included in the toolkit; however they are all designed to be easily printed on an office printer/copier.
Is there something specific that would help you with your awareness efforts this May? Contact Danielle Fritze
How does it feel to live with a mental illness? That (#mentalillnessfeelslike) is what we’re focusing on during Mental Health Month in 2016.
Clinical terms are the words used by doctors and other professionals to describe the symptoms of a disorder, but often times those words don’t do justice to what life with a mental illness feels like.
We know that two people with the same diagnosis can experience the same symptom and describe it in very different ways. Let’s take fear for example: one person might describe fear as being scared to the point of feeling paralyzed, while another might describe fear as an overwhelming urge to run away. It can be confusing to align your personal experience with mental illness to clinical criteria, and sometimes contributes to ongoing silence or hesitation to get help. It’s important for people to talk about how it feels to live with a mental illness.
This May, MHA is calling on you to share what life with a mental illness feels like - we want you to speak up, to share your point of view with people who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down negative attitudes and misperceptions surrounding mental illnesses and to showing others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.
How Can You Participate?
- Tag your Twitter and Instagram posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike; they will be collected and displayed at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike.
- Submit an anonymous post with images and/or text at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike
- Check out www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike to see what other people are saying about how it feels to live with a mental illness.
- Share the www.mentalhealthamerica.net/feelslike page with your friends, family and other members of your social networks to help spread the word that mental health problems are real and common, and people do recover. Check out images we've created to help you share.
- Learn more about how common mental illnesses are, how people describe them, tips for tackling symptoms and the recovery process by checking out our info:
- If you or someone you love is dealing with a mental illness, use our worksheets and other self-help tools to take steps toward recovery:
Worksheet: Think Ahead (PDF)
Right click the images below and select "save image as" to use them for Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook Profile Picture (PNG 180 x 180 px)
Facebook Share Optimized Image (PNG 1200 x 630 px)
Twitter Profile Picture (PNG 240 x240 px)
Twitter Share Optimized Image (PNG 440 x 220 px)
The 2016 May is Mental Health Month Toolkit has been supported with contributions from:
Download the 2015 toolkit here.
Download the entire toolkit in a zipped folder.