Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Month!

Since 1949, Mental Health Month has been raising awareness about mental wellness and mental health.

That’s more than 60 years of helping people better understand mental illness, how to take care of their own mental health and act as caregivers for others, and busting mental health stigma.

Mental Health Month runs from May 1 to May 31. Of course that doesn’t mean May is the only time you can (and should!) be active in mental health advocacy, but this annual spotlight can give you the boost you need to start really shining as a mental health advocate.

Need some ideas? Try these:

  1. Get social! Spread the word about mental health using Twitter and Facebook. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out some of the sample tweets and Facebook posts Mental Health America provides.
  2. Be supportive! Look for mental health support groups in your area. If there aren’t any, consider working with your local community mental health center or one of the Big Dogs’ (think the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and Mental Health America) coordinators to get one started. All three provide directories (linked in previous sentence) for locating affiliates in your area, as well as information for starting your own.
  3. Raise money! Donating to local or national mental health organizations is helpful, BUT you can really start raising mental health awareness in your community by hosting a yard sale, bake sale, or car wash and donating all the proceeds to a local or national mental health charity or organization. Advertise accordingly (people like to take part in important causes!) and give each of your customers a mental health fact sheet such as those provided by NAMI, MHA, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Keep in mind these are just a few of the ways you can get involved this Mental Health Month. For more ideas, including ways to engage your workplace, school, and other special organizations such as senior and faith-based groups, check out MHA’s Mental Health Month Activity Ideas (PDF).

And how will Celebrity Psychings be involved this May?

During previous years, we’ve held the Mental Health Month Spotlight, taking a look at celebrity mental health advocates who’ve gone above and beyond (or simply broken the mold) in the name of mental health.

This year, we’ll focus on mental health and wellness lessons we can learn from celebrities.

Should be interesting!