How to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month (In May and Year-Round)
Every year, the month of May is celebrated nationally as Mental Health Awareness Month. Here at Starting Point, every single day, we work hard to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and educate Nassau County and Northeast Florida residents about mental health.
In this post, we will describe mental health and mental health awareness, share a few ways to boost your own mental health and provide a host of different ways you can celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month in May and year-round.
What is Mental Health?
Basically, mental health affects every aspect of our lives. People who pay close attention to their mental health, and work on its improvement, tend to live happier and healthier lives. Consequently, the opposite is also true –neglecting to nurture your mental health can have negative impacts like increased stress, suppressed mood, decrease in self-esteem, and more. Here are a few simple ways that you can quickly boost your mental health:
- Track gratitude and achievement in a journal – Get out a pen and paper and write down 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish every day. Seeing your accomplishments on paper can help remind you of how great you are doing.
- Take time to laugh – Laughter helps reduce anxiety and is linked to elevated moods. Perhaps try some laughing yoga. It’s fun, we promise.
- Go off the grid and take time for yourself – Disconnect from social media, emails, alerts, and interruptions. Have some good ole me time.
- Dance while you do your housework – Turn those mundane chores into an opportunity to celebrate and let loose.
- Spend some time with a furry friend – If you aren’t allergic, of course. If you don’t have a pet, spend some time with a friend who does. Animals are amazing stress relief.
- Go on a nature walk – Studies show that being surrounded by nature can help reduce depression and increase wellness.
For more ways to boost your mental health, click here. If you’d like to share your personal tips and tricks for boosting mental health, use the #mentalhealthmatters on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to tag/mention Starting Point on Twitter @StartingPointFL, Facebook @StartingPointBehavioralHealthcare, and Instagram @startingpointfl.
What is Mental Health Awareness?
Now that we understand mental health a bit bitter, let’s talk about ‘mental health awareness’. Awareness comes from the root word aware, which is defined as “having or showing realization, perception or knowledge.”
Simply put, awareness suggests an action be taken. It is to ‘show realization, perception, or knowledge’. And there are many ways to act or to share what you know about mental health. Some people, as mentioned above, use social media to share. Others may talk with friends in private about mental health. Some individuals advocate for mental health through the legislative system. There is no right or wrong way to do mental health awareness. What is most important is that you find an avenue that is most comfortable for you.
We encourage you to read and share the brave Stories of Healing from our Nassau County neighbors. These are the stories of real people who have recovered from mental health and substance use challenges with the help of the services provided at Starting Point.
7 Ways to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month
As you now well know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a month dedicated specifically to spreading awareness about mental health. So, we wanted to provide you with some ways to celebrate both now and in the future.
1. Join Starting Point’s ‘Mental Health Awareness Wrist Band Challenge’
Stop by our Main Treatment Center in Yulee (463142 State Road 200, Yulee, FL 32097) and grab one of our green mental health wristbands from the registration staff. Then make a post on social media to show your friends that you are participating in the Starting Point Mental Health Awareness Wrist Band Challenge. Use the #mentalhealthwristband and be sure to tag/mention Starting Point on Twitter @StartingPointFL, Facebook @StartingPointBehavioralHealthcare, and Instagram @startingpointfl. Come on, everyone’s doing it. Even our registered therapy dog, Leeka…
2. Attend a Virtual Discussion about Mental Health
Our upcoming Being Well, Starting Now virtual discussion is on Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 12PM. The topic is Mental Health – A Toolkit for Our Community. We will define mental health, review local data about mental health, consider language and stigma, identify strategies for addressing mental health and wellness, and provide some other ways to get involved as a community member.
3. Apply to the Starting Point Ambassador Program
The Ambassador Program is a volunteer program that will advocate for the reduction of stigma related to Mental Health/Substance Use Disorders (MH/SUD), and support SPBH staff and the Community Outreach and Education Committee members in the community. SPBH Ambassadors will be responsible for promoting SPBH services and initiatives both on community advocacy and legislative issues.
4. Get Certified in Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches community members to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training develops skills to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.
The next training is coming up on June 4th, 2021.
5. Donate to Support Mental Health
Donate to support mental health right here in Nassau County. All donations go directly to the programs and services Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare provides to the Nassau County and Northeast Florida community.
6. Share Your Mental Health Story
Share your personal connection to mental health by clicking here.
7. Take a Mental Health Screen
Click here and use an online screening to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Starting Point is always here to help!
We hope you that this post has helped you to better understand mental health and mental health awareness. While we love to recognize and celebrate Mental Health Awareness in the month of May, we also believe that mental health is meant to be celebrated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to sign up to begin receiving our newsletters so that you can stay up to date on all the ways to get involved.
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