National Silence the Shame Day: Mental Health Awareness
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May 5th, 2020 is National Silence the Shame Day. This is a National Holiday that aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health by having conversations and bringing awareness about mental health and wellness with those people around you. We should all be working to end the stigma that is associated with mental health. Mental illness is something that can be diagnosed at any stage during the illness. It can have a variety of different symptoms and it may or may not impact our daily functioning. Every mental illness can affect someone differently. It is important to remember that mental illness can be treatable, and recovery is possible. It is also important to remember that you are not alone during this process.
About one in every five individuals in the United States struggle daily with their mental health. According to the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, for individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, it is the second leading cause of death. It is okay to need help, and it is okay to talk to those around you. No one should struggle with mental illness alone. The stigma about discussing mental health needs to end so that no one feels they need to be silent about their mental illness.
There are many things that you could do on this day to support ending the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Listed below are some great ideas for helping to end the stigma.
One thing that could be done to help support ending the stigma for mental illness is to donate. There are many organizations in the United States that work to fight against the stigma against mental illnesses. There are many organizations that provide educational programs and awareness on mental health. Overall, this is a great way to contribute to ending the stigma.
Another thing that can be done to help with promoting the importance of communicating about mental illnesses is to post on social media about this topic. This is something to post on May 5th, 2020. Posting information on social media about ending the stigma will allow people to discuss what it means. There are many people who most likely do not know that May 5th is National Silence the Shame Day. If we share this information it helps them become more aware or interested in learning about what it is. When you post, it is also good to add the hashtag #SilenceTheShame along with your post so that it gets viewed more.
For anyone struggling with their mental health, you are not alone.
Here are a few suggestions on things you can do to get help:
Talk with your Doctor:
For anyone who is struggling with their mental health, it is important to reach out to your doctor. If you feel as if you are having mental health challenges, ask for a mental health assessment from your doctor. Doctors are here to help fight against the stigma that is currently surrounding mental health.
Minnesota has many different support groups for those who want to talk with others who are also being challenged with mental health struggles. This is an opportunity for people to express their thoughts and feelings to those who are experiencing similar situations. If anyone is interested in attending a support group in Minnesota, there are many options posted here https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/support-groups/.
EVOLVE Therapeutic Services:
EVOLVE Family Services offers a variety of outpatient therapeutic services, which can also include county workers to assist in supporting families and youth involved with child protection. All services are provided by mental health practitioners or professionals who are culturally competent and use strengths-based approaches. To learn more about Evolve Therapeutic Services, go to https://evolveservices.org/therapeutic/.
We can all work to normalize conversations about mental illness and wellness.
Ending the stigma surrounding mental health will allow people to feel open to discussing their mental health, and find the support they need. May 5th is a good day to help get the message out about the stigma around mental health. Please join us in ending the silence.
Author, Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.