On the subject of gray days, did you know the suicide rate in the US has surged? The April 22 edition of the Chicago Tribune reports, “The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is hoping to erase the stigma of mental illness. NAMI reports that 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime.
NAMI asks that you share mental health awareness information, images and graphics with the hashtags #mhm or #mentalhealthmonth and help spread awareness for the stigmafree pledge with #StigmaFree.
With a similar goal, in her recent post “We Don’t Talk Enough About Mental Health” Elizabeth Tobey who is Head of Community Engagement, on Medium, a platform where I often post links to this blog, writes : “We can change that stigma by talking honestly and openly about living with mental illness. This week marks the beginning on National Mental Health Awareness Month, and we’d like to kick off a conversation on Medium about our experiences with mental health. For the next few weeks, we’ll be crating and highlighting conversations around the platform on this topic. We welcome you to contribute by writing or responding using the mental health tag. You don’t need to have lived with a mental illness to join; we encourage all voices and opinions.”
Also, the Depression and Bipolar Support Association (DBSA) would like you to know about a new opportunity. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has reached out to DBSA for speakers to share their untold stories and perspective-changing ideas about mental health for the pilot of their new anonymous podcast series, Sincerely X, from TED.
TED will help speakers craft their story and “idea worth spreading” prior to recording talks for the series. Since speakers will not be identified in any way, there is no worry of negative personal or professional impact.
Together with TED, DBSA has selected three strength-based story ideas. They are 1) Advantage, mood; 2) The genius of mood; and 3) People living with mental health conditions can make decisions on their own behalf and in their best interests. If you would like to contribute to an anonymous TED talk, complete the application by May 8.
Peace, love, and solace