Every year communities across the country recognize mental health awareness in the month of May. This year a group of advocates are organizing to proclaim May 4th as Mental Health and Dignity Day. They are using the power of social media and grass roots organizing as a way of encouraging others to organize events in their local community on this day. The idea started with one person, which lead to a logo design and now a group on facebook that is quickly growing by the 100’s. The purpose is as follows: This group was started to organize local events where we honor all members of our community, recognize that mental health is something that deserves positive support and continue the fight against stigma towards mental illness.
As many as 60 million Americans struggle with mental health concerns and this is a public health issue that has come to the forefront through numerous events that have made international headlines. From gun control to healthcare, mental health is on the minds of many citizens and part of wide spread debate. What matters most is that mental health is a part of whole health. Every person struggles with their mental health at some point in life and many may experience significant life interruptions as a result of it. What research and practice has taught us in recent years is that people can and do recover. This day is meant to promote the dignity of every person and recognize that mental health is something we all have in common and can celebrate the positives that come from experiencing wellness. We also must recognize that many who suffer from life circumstances that have a negative impact on mental health such as poverty, trauma and abuse, stigma and lack of access to adequate care, do not have a voice and need to be supported as equal members of society.
As the movement continues to grow, this group intends to support communities in organizing events, raising funds to produce t-shirts, gain support from national organizations, media and key leaders in the community. To find out more about how to get involved, visit their group on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/