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The Mental Health Community Needs Strong Advocates



When you have a mental illness, it can be lonely and isolating. You may feel guilt, shame and stigma surrounding your condition. It can be difficult to talk to anyone about how you are feeling, because you are afraid of the blame.


Sometimes, you try to talk to someone you care about and tell them how you feel. They may listen, but they may also reject you. They might just tell you to 'suck it up' or to 'try to be happy.' They might list a litany of reasons why you have a good life, but it just isn't enough.


So often, the level of care that we get from the people closest to us is woefully lacking. This is true for the wider society as well. Those of us with mental illness often receive substandard mental health and medical treatments. We don't have a cure in sight for our illnesses.


In order to create a safe space for those of us with mental illness to be able to recover, we need to find strong advocates in society to help us break the stigma and the silence that surrounds mental health. We need to normalize seeking help, and provide better support for those with mental health needs.


People with mental illness need better treatment. We need more research. We need to stop demonizing mental illness in the media, by blaming 'crazy' people for committing crimes. Making mental health treatment a priority on a national and global level is a change that needs to happen.


Government’s implementation of international laws, conventions, and national policies that protect people with mental health disabilities against stigmatization, discrimination, and abuse will encourage a positive attitude toward people living with mental health conditions. This can also be achieved by adopting “people-centered” care approaches that emphasize prevention, respect for human rights and values, and viable treatment options in places where it is needed. Furthermore, the various factors; physical, emotional, and social environment, that interplay to determine the position on the mental health continuum should be continually modified at all levels to prevent mental health conditions whilst protecting and supporting the vulnerable.

Those of us with mental illnesses so frequently need to advocate for ourselves, instead of having anyone to help us do so. This badly needs to change. Having allies would greatly assist us in being able to get the treatment that is so badly needed.


September 2023 is National Suicide Prevention Month. That means, this is an important time for everyone to advocate for suicide prevention awareness. Spreading this message as much as possible is critical to help others who are suffering from suicidal thoughts.


The more all of us who have suffered with suicidal thoughts are willing to open up and share our stories, the better able we will be to help to raise awareness for everyone who is struggling. We are stronger together, and the more we band together to further the cause of mental health, the more progress we can make towards equality and solutions.


According to Spring Health, here is a list of 12 organizations that advocate for mental health that you can research and support:

1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

2. The Trevor Project

3. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

4. National Council for Behavioral Health COVID-19 Fund

5. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

6. National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN)

7. Shatterproof

8. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective

9. National Center for Transgender Equality

10. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

11. National Federation of Families

12. Center for Workplace Mental Health


When you support organizations that advocate for mental health awareness and mental health support, you are furthering the cause of everyone who suffers with a mental illness. Speaking up for those who have difficulty speaking up for themselves due to shame and stigma makes you a valuable ally to the mental health community.


Having people speak up for us and take our side makes a world of difference in mental health recovery. So many people are searching for someone else to take our hands, and help us to break the silence. Support matters so much, and we are grateful for those who stand with us in our cause.

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