Every year communities across the country recognize mental health awareness in the month of May. This year a group of mental health peer support specialists, people in recovery from mental health challenges, are organizing to proclaim May 4th as Mental Health and Dignity Day. Using the power of social media and grass roots organizing, they are encouraging other peers and their loved ones 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 hundreds. 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. 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 widespread debate. What matters most is that mental health is a part of whole health. Every person struggles with his or her mental health at some point in life, and many may experience significant life interruptions as a result. What research and practice has taught us in recent years is that people can and do recover.
Sunday, May 4, 2014 is meant to promote the dignity of every person and recognize that mental health is something we all have in common. We can come together to 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 to bring awareness and positive change to mental health recovery. To find out more about how to get involved, visit their group on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/marchformentalhealthanddignity/ and their fundraising campaign for the purchase of t-shirts and support for local events: http://www.gofundme.com/72szak