May 2021: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of that, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (“AFSP”) is encouraging #MentalHealth4All. The hashtag is behind AFSP’s campaign that seeks to spread this important message:
No One’s Mental Health Is Fully Supported Until
Everyone’s Mental Health Is Fully Supported.
Get Involved: There are several ways for you and your loved ones to get involved and take action during Mental Health Awareness Month, and the AFSP website is a great place to start. For example, you can register to join in “Mental Health Storytelling” from May 3-5, 2021. Mental Health Storytelling involves collaborating with content creators who will help you speak up and share your story. AFSP states, “Groundbreaking research from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative shows that mental health is underrepresented in mainstream media and also outlines powerful opportunities for the creative community to create positive change. Now, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, positive mental health storylines are needed now more than ever. Together, we can expand representation of mental health and redefine how we support ourselves and others.” Other ways you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Month can be found at: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Mental Health Awareness Month
On a personal note: I am an advocate at heart and I love participating in advocacy -whether on Capitol Hill or in writing appeals for our clients. Simply put, participating in advocacy that will help others is pure and humbling joy that makes me come alive.
That said, as a survivor of former mental-unwellness and suicidal urges, I have also come to know that the most important thing I can do to support #MentalHealth4All is to take care to nurture and nourish my own mental health first and foremost. The fact is, we all have mental health and without taking care of the mental and emotional parts of our Selves, we will fail to thrive. As human beings, we were born to thrive! Yet sometimes, as you likely know, life becomes hard and our hardships can make it easy to forget that we are meant to thrive.
So I want to encourage you to focus on this simple yet necessary point during Mental Health Awareness Month: As you embark on advocacy, make sure to prioritize taking care of the one and only you. Do what you need to do in order to thrive.
Need medication? Take it. Need therapy? Attend your session(s). Need a day off? Take it. Nourish your body, mind, spirit and soul to the best of your ability, each and every day. And hey, if sometimes the “best of your ability” means you take a ‘horizontal day’ (aka: day on the couch), then so be it. Every day is a day for you to live and thrive in the ways that are uniquely necessary for your mental health. Remember to be your advocate first and foremost. Because #YouAreNecessary and you are meant to shine your beautiful light and humanness. You are no exception to the fact that: you were born to thrive.
If you or someone you know is living with mental illness and is being denied benefits by the insurance company, please call Kantor & Kantor for a free consultation at 800-446-7529. We understand, and we can help.
#MentalHealth4All, including for you and for me, this May and always.