Tomorrow (Monday 10th) marks World Mental Health Day where charities, organisations and businesses come together to raise awareness of mental health illnesses. It allows all of these wonderful advocates and champions of mental health to come together and encourage education of mental illnesses, to help combat the stigma and discrimination that surrounds it and to give opportunity for people to come forward and share their story. The World Federation for Mental Health has noted a theme for this year; psychological first aid support for those in need. To read more about this, click here.
The UK based charity, Mind, kick started fundraising this weekend by teaming up with Tesco supermarkets where volunteers donated their free time to don blue branded shirts and rattle some buckets. Me and a wonderful chap called John looked after the Tesco Extra in Chesterfield on Saturday morning and between us managed to raise a phenomenal £80; a big thanks to all who spared their change and specifically to the lady who threw a £10 note in our bucket!
If, like me, you like to keep up to date with all things mental health then your social media feeds will be filling up nicely tomorrow as all around the world, conferences, events, fundraisers and educational seminars will take place to celebrate this opportunity at raising awareness of mental health illnesses. However, if you’re not sure of where to begin or what to do, here’s a few of my favourite people you might want to support tomorrow.
I’ve blogged before about Motivational Tattoos and they’re offering a 10% discount on their Etsy store so treat yourself or a friend and stock up on some temporary tattoos, or even the gorgeously unique dissolving thought bubbles. Use code STOPTHESTIGMA when you hit the checkout. Another brilliant self made business that raises awareness is the Sad Ghost Club who will also be at the Freedom of Mind conference in Bristol; check out their brilliant merchandise where proceeds go towards helping education of mental health illnesses in young adults. I’ve just pre-ordered the new sad ghost sweatshirt, so make sure you get your hands on yours before they run out!
The Mental Health Foundation are encouraging us all to host or join in on our own Tea & Talk, whilst it might be short notice now to arrange something for tomorrow unless there is an event in your area, why not make an effort to sit down at lunch or dinner with your loved ones and bring up the subject of mental health? It doesn’t have to be a taboo subject by any means, and you can still donate online to various mental health charities. Click here for more info if you’d still like to host your own Tea & Talk or find one local to you.
If you’re a student then make sure to check out your local University or College listings as various faculties and student unions are putting on events to encourage better well being for their attendees. Likewise, in the workplace they may well be sponsoring events or hosting their own awareness campaigns to encourage better mental health for their employees and colleagues. If you can’t find anything, then why not be the champion and organise your own event or print off some facts from Mind to start the conversation.
All in all, there is plenty to appease the appetite so make sure you follow the hashtag #WMHD or #WMHD16 on social media and see what’s going on in your area! And if you can, then please donate any spare change to a mental health organisation of your choice.
Many thanks all!