“Together for Mental Health” is this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month, which is observed in May of every year. This theme was outlined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The theme “Together for Mental Health” is being used to highlight how we can use our voices and other resources to advocate for Mental Health and the mentally ill. Mental health conditions can affect anyone; however, with the appropriate support and quality of care, persons can live healthy and fulfilling lives. This weekly article has been used, and will continue to be used to shine a light on mental health and mental health related issues. In addition to informing persons about mental health, we also want to educate persons on how they can advocate for better mental health services and the mentally ill. Being an advocate simply means that you are publicly supporting a particular cause. You may be asking yourself, what can I do to become an advocate for Mental Health? Here are some suggestions:
Educate yourself and by extension others by responding to misconceptions or negative comments and by sharing facts and experiences.
Support someone who may be experiencing mental health issues.
Volunteer your time to work along with someone who has a mental illness.
Volunteer your time at the Mental Health Rehabilitation Center to teach a class or skill.
Attend mental health awareness activities.
Share information such as these weekly articles so that persons can be informed about mental health.
Encourage local politicians to prioritize mental health.
Correct stigmatizing language that may be used in your community or within the local media.
Insert the mental health conversation into your family circles, social groups and via social media.
Churches, get involved in the conversation as God loves all of us and would enable us to help those who need it.
To help bring a voice to mental health and the mentally ill, we will be using the month of May to have conversations with persons suffering from a Mental Illness and sharing that conversation with you so that you can be further informed about Mental Health and Mental Illness. Together, we can help change how we as citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines view Mental Health and Mental Illness by speaking up and showing persons struggling with mental health issues that they are not alone.
MSc. Clinical Psychology