Each year, one in four Americans experiences a mental illness. Most will wait an average of ten years before seeking treatment, largely due to the stigma against mental illnesses. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to start talking about mental illness ans what we can do to “Make it Ok”.
The Make it Ok campaign is part of an effort to change hearts and minds about the misconceptions regarding mental illness. It is designed to encourage people to talk more openly about mental illnesses and ask for help.
How can you help? By speaking up.
When we start talking, we realize that mental illnesses are more common and relatable than we think. More importantly, people experiencing mental illness will hopefully be treated with respect, acceptance and be more likely to get the care they need.
Most of us don’t know how to respond when people bring up their mental illness. But it can be very similar to what you might say to someone diagnosed with heart disease or a chronic illness. For example:
- “What can I do to help?”
- “I’m here if you need me.”
- “Can I drive you to an appointment?”
- “Things will get better.”
Visit MakeItOk.org to learn more about the campaign, and to take the Make it Ok pledge. The pledge is linked to Facebook and Twitter accounts, and will be shared with your friends to let them know that they can talk to you when they need to.