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Mental Health Awareness Month Recap

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Kim Foundation’s team is working remote due to Covid-19, but we wanted to stay connected with our community members by creating and sharing videos all month. We put together, “Mental Health Minutes” to work together to breakdown stigma and encourage positive mental health for all! The team released two videos every week during the month of May. The videos covered all topics and populations. You can check out all of our Mental Health Minutes on our Youtube page here

In our efforts to raise awareness, we provide tips to help someone who may be struggling, tips for parents, youth, teachers, and frontline workers to name a few. There is a little bit of everything! Although May is officially Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important we celebrate and encourage positive mental health every month. 

A lot of people are not exposed to mental health issues until they are directly impacted. It is very important we educate others about mental health issues just as we are educated about physical health issues. To help raise awareness about mental health, you can take the following action

Talk with your friends and family members. Checking in with family, friends, or coworkers and asking how they are doing is so important. If they give any indication they may be stressed or depressed, let them you are there for them, and guide them in a direction of resources available to help them. 

Encourage kind language. Language is a very powerful thing. Encourage others that language reinforces the stigma of mental illness and it could be harmful to a person who is struggling. 

Educate yourself about mental illness. Often, people misunderstand mental illness. Do research and learn more about it. Share what you learn! 

Encourage physical health that supports mental health. Help others understand that physical health can have a direct impact on mental health. 

One way to help you maintain positive mental health would be to build resilience. Resilience means knowing how to cope despite setbacks, barriers, or limited resources. An individual who has good mental health can bounce back from adversities. They probably have experienced hardships as well. You can teach yourself to become more resilient to help improve your mental health. Resiliency involves actions, thoughts, and behaviors that can be learned and develop. Becoming more resilient will help you get through difficult circumstances and help you grow. The American Psychological Association shares some tips to build resilience: 

-Building connections 

-Fostering wellness 

-Finding purpose 

-Embracing healthy thoughts 

-Seeking help 

Another way to help spread mental health awareness is to check in with your friends and family. It is so important we check in on our friends and family, especially if they have a mental health condition. NAMI suggests the following tips to help build positive, social support networks: 

-Include friends or family in your plans 

-Learn more about mental health conditions 

-Avoid using judgmental dismissive language 

-Call and check in regularly 

With nearly 450 million people worldwide currently living with a mental illness, it is important we encourage positive mental health regularly and provide support for those who need help. By talking about mental health and educating ourselves and others, we can help end the stigma. 

Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.