May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a month to raise public awareness and educate communities on how to provide support for mental health issues. Let’s make mental health a priority this month!
Did you know millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year? According to the opens in a new windowNational Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans will experience mental illness each year. Below are a few ways you can support your sisters, friends and family.
- Offer Support. Keep in mind that your friend or loved one might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through or simply may not want your help right now. You cannot force someone to get help, so just do your best to be there. Be ready if and when they do finally reach out.
- Share Your Concerns. Share your observations with your friend or family member. Focus on being nonjudgmental, compassionate and understanding. Use “I” (instead of “you”) comments to get the conversation started.
- Reach Out to Someone You Trust. If someone you know is in need, you don’t need to go at it alone. Involve others who can provide added support. Try to find someone who might be understanding of the situation or be able to help. Your friend may feel cornered if you start involving others, so make sure to talk to your friend first.
- Learn more about mental health conditions. Find out opens in a new windowmore about what your loved one is going through so you are better able to help in future situations.
Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Learning all you can about mental health is an important first step. Luckily, we don’t have to face it alone. We have the support of our sisters in Kappa Delta to face the world together!