How to Advocate for Mental Health in Your Community
- Category: Mental Health
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Spreading awareness about mental health is essential to ensure that those living with a mental health problem feel supported and seek the treatment they need. There are many ways to advocate for mental health in your community, help eliminate harmful stigma, and educate others on the importance of accessible and effective mental health treatment.
To learn more about our extensive mental health care services, from outpatient counseling to our inpatient treatment center, please visit: ChristianHealthNJ.info/MentalHealth.
1. Start a conversation: One of the most important parts of advocating for mental health is simply talking about it. Correct those around you who use stigmatizing, discriminatory language, spark up conversations about the importance of accessible care, and attend community town hall meetings to speak up about mental health.
2. Share your experiences: Much of the unfair stigma surrounding mental health stems from silence. If more of us were open and vocal about our own personal mental health experiences, others would feel supported and less fearful or ashamed about seeking the treatment they need. Sharing your personal mental health journey with those in your community, on social media, or in mental health support forums can go a long way in making a difference for others who are dealing with the same struggles.
3. Volunteer your time: Attend an awareness walk or other event to benefit the mental health movement, get involved with a local church group, or volunteer as a crisis counselor for a mental health hotline. You can also get involved in a local Stigma-Free campaign in your community, a movement that aims to educate the public about mental health and help residents who are living with mental health problems feel supported.
4. Donate to advocacy organizations or treatment centers: Groups that work hard to remove harmful mental health stigma and improve mental healthcare for all need financial support to achieve their goals. You can also donate to mental health treatment in your community, such as counseling centers or mental health hospitals, so that they can continue offering accessible care.
5. Contact elected officials: Local, state, and federal lawmakers make policy decisions regularly that affect mental health care quality, accessibility, education, and awareness. Many mental health advocacy groups, such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer helpful resources and information on pertinent issues that need attention. Send letters or emails to officials in your area, sign petitions, and spread the word in your community to end policies that discriminate against those living with mental health problems, to fund research for mental health treatments, and to expand mental health support in our schools.
Our mission at Christian Health is to provide compassionate mental health care to all those in our community who need it, through our comprehensive continuum of mental health treatment services. If you would like to support our commitment to nurturing mental wellness, visit ChristianHealthNJ.info/AnnualFund to learn more about our Annual Fund.