The National Alliance on Mental Illness has some great ideas and resources to get involved in events for Mental Health Awareness Month. One way to do so is to share your story.
Stories are so powerful. They can help us connect with the writer, evoke emotions, provide a foundation for important topics, inspire hope, and motivate change. 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. Many of these stories have yet to be shared. There are many reasons: fear of judgment, shame, embarrassment, and anxiety.
Everyone is going to struggle with someone and something at some point. Mental health is impacted, especially when the “voice” of depression or anxiety begins to take over. You may feel that you’re not enough. These feelings are often heightened by circumstances that are not going well. For example, you feel like a failure as a parent because your kids are struggling, you feel unworthy of love because you continue to experience heartbreak in your relationships, or you feel unproductive because you are struggling with motivation which is impacting your sense of worth. No matter what you are currently experiencing, you are #MoreThanEnough.
Share and celebrate the little steps with supportive people in your life by sharing your story. Don’t be afraid to speak up when things become challenging, or you experience setbacks.
The more I have shared my story with others, the more others have opened up to share their own story. I have found that my little steps add up to big steps over time, especially as others have walked alongside me. This has helped give me the strength to keep going while also building momentum to find a steady stride. This has included a vast network of friends, family, peers, and professional helpers. It is so empowering to have a team of supporters, including those who can help lead me to new paths and cheer me along the way. I am #MoreThanEnough and so are you.
If you are looking for more ideas to get involved in mental health awareness, here are some options to consider.
Attend an Event and Partner with NAMI:
- Mental Health Action Day (5/18): mentalhealthaction.network
- NAMI Walks (5/20): namiwalks.org
- NAMI Con (5/24-27): convention.nami.org
- Advocate: Sign up for advocacy alerts to take action when opportunities arise in your community.
- Volunteer: Get involved with your local NAMI, or apply to be a volunteer with our national helpline.
- Write a Blog: Share your personal story about mental health. Your story can encourage and support to others with similar experiences and help promote understanding and empathy for those without mental illness.
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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