The need to raise awareness about mental health has prompted many countries to observe a mental health awareness week or month. In the United States, for example, the entire month of May includes many initiatives surrounding mental health, while in the UK the week of 13-19 May is the focus. As global health experts, COLUMBIA pure applauds all efforts to focus attention on addressing mental health issues. During these times, organisations, communities, and individuals come together to raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote mental well-being.

This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK is “Movement: Moving more for our mental health”. Moving and being active is known to be very important for mental health. During this week, strive to help others add movement in their daily routines. Simple things like going for a walk around the block, dancing in the kitchen while preparing a meal, or doing basic stretches and exercises in your living room can all help.

In this blog, we explore many ways to help increase mental health awareness, along with insights into the psychological benefits of volunteering, the connection between creativity and mental well-being, and the role of social support in mental health recovery:

  1. Raise Awareness: Share information about mental health on social media, in your community, or at your workplace. You can share personal stories, facts about mental health conditions, or resources for seeking help.

2. Volunteer: Engage in volunteer activities that support mental health organisations or initiatives. Volunteering not only helps others but also has psychological benefits for the volunteer. It can provide a sense of purpose, boost self-esteem, and foster social connections, all of which contribute to mental well-being.

    3. Practice Self-Care: Take time to prioritise self-care. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature. Prioritise activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

      4. Express Creativity: Engage in creative activities such as writing, painting, music, or crafting. Creativity has been linked to improved mood, increased self-expression, and reduced stress levels. It can serve as a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions and promoting mental well-being.

        5. Seek Social Support: Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups for social support. Social connections play a crucial role in mental health recovery by providing emotional support, practical assistance, and a sense of belonging. Don’t hesitate to lean on others when you’re struggling.

          6. Educate Yourself: Take the opportunity to learn more about mental health conditions, treatment options, and strategies for maintaining mental well-being. Knowledge empowers individuals to recognise signs of mental health issues, seek help when needed, and support others who may be struggling.

            7. Promote Compassion: Show compassion and empathy towards others, especially those who may be experiencing mental health challenges. Small acts of kindness, such as offering a listening ear or providing encouragement, can make a significant difference in someone’s mental well-being.

              8. Advocate For Change: Use your voice to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote mental health awareness, access to mental health services, and destigmatisation of mental illness. Get involved in advocacy efforts at the local, national, or global level to drive positive change.

                Observing Mental Health Awareness during the designated week of May 13-19 and the month of May is just the start—these practices can become part of our everyday life. By actively promoting mental well-being all year around, we can contribute to creating a more supportive and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive emotionally and psychologically.

                Please note, all content provided is for informational purposes, and is believed to be accurate and current at the time of posting. It should not, at any time, be used in place of appropriate professional or expert advice.