So something I’ve been trying to do more on Ampersand is talk about mental health. I truly believe the best way to break down stigmas & help those who need love and support is to start talking about these issues openly and honestly. Educating ourselves and others is the only way to make mental health less of a “taboo” topic–because in reality we ALL should be focused on being mentally healthy. It’s just as important as physical health, and honestly, the majority of Americans are pretty bad at prioritizing it.
With the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I’ve seen a lot more articles and discussions surrounding suicide as well as other mental health issues (although we could be talking about them a lot more). The articles that I’ve been gravitating towards are specifically ones on how to be a better friend & advocate to those struggling with mental health. I am not a mental health professional by ANY means, but the articles below touch on different mental health topics & how to help those who are struggling.
When in doubt, just show people love. Love is the best thing you can give (to anyone). You never know exactly what people are going through but showing and giving love is something that we can all do. Keep on reading to become a better mental health advocate.
** First things first…Take this short lil quiz (3 questions) to see how you’ve been affected by mental health stigmas. An honest look on how YOU view mental health issues will help you be a better friend to others. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
A beginner’s guide on How To Help A Friend Suffering from Depression (Vogue)
On a similar note…Ten Practical Ways to Help Your Friend Through the Death of a Loved One (Medium)
How to Support Loved Ones Who May Be At Risk of Suicide, According to Psychologists (Time)
The warning signs of suicide & exactly how you can help someone (Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
Why “Are You Okay?” is such an important question to ask (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
***Honestly, just this whole initiative by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ROCKS: Seize the Awkward (if you click on any of the links here, make it this one!!)
And finally, the most IMPORTANT thing you can do to help a friend is educate yourself on mental illness. I really love The Mighty because it shares real life stories written by those who are living with different mental health issues.
How do you advocate for mental health? What have your friends done to help support you if you’re living with a mental illness? Comment below &.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255or text “START” to 741-741.