The Importance of Mental Health Advocacy
October 6, 2020
Mental health is an essential part of a person’s overall well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It plays a role in our ability to handle stress, to form relationships, and research suggests that it can even affect physical health. Regardless of a person’s age or background, it’s clear that mental health matters. But the stigma that it carries keeps people from feeling they can seek treatment or let alone talk about their struggles. That’s why advocating for mental health is a must.
There is not just one way to be an advocate – what matters is acting and raising awareness through our actions. Advocacy can be as simple as listening to a friend talk about their mental health struggles and letting them know they can count on you.
Or advocacy can mean researching current mental health policy and learning how proposed policy changes will affect people with mental illness. Identifying policy issues that matter to you and contacting federal and state legislators is an effective way to make your voice heard and advocate for mental health.
By voicing your support for mental health for all – your friends, family, community, or yourself – we actively destigmatize mental health and pave the way for lasting change.
If you want to do more to advocate for mental health, but aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ideas:
-Be more conscious about the language used when talking about mental health
-Share your support on World Mental Health Day (Saturday, October 10) by sparking a conversation about mental health with your loved ones or on social media.