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Filed Under: Educational
How To Educate Yourself and Others about Mental Health/Mental Illness

How To Educate Yourself and Others about Mental Health/Mental Illness

By Michelle Lunger

Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. We are here to open up the dialogue for mental health. This blog promotes healing, but it is not a major mental health resource. If you or anyone else you know is struggling we are here to provide you with resources. We know, asking for help can be scary, but we would be happy to point you in the right direction. If you are nervous about reaching out to a crisis hotline and you want to learn more information feel free to reach out to us. We are here for you. That is why we created this blog. This blog post is just providing IDEAS on how you can educate yourself and others. Let us know how you educate yourself and others about Mental Illness/ Mental Health. We can always add to our list!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month so we decided to kick off the month with a blog post about how to educate yourself and others about mental health/mental illness.

How to educate yourself and others about Mental Health/Mental Illness

  1. By being open and honest. Tell your friends and family that you are here for them and that they can talk to you about anything. Also let them know how you are doing. Give updates, weekly check-ins and ask questions. How are you doing, really? You truly never know what someone is going through. Some people say they are ok even if they are not. It is ok to be vulnerable, let yourself know that, and give others a safe space to talk as well. 

  2. Through social media. Every day we are breaking barriers of the stigma surrounding mental health. People are coming up with new ideas, websites, blogs, etc. If you see an important Instagram story, post, or any other content, share it. If you see something that resonates with you or inspires you, share it. You never know what that information can do for you or who it can reach that may need it. Some Social Media Accounts we love: 

    • @rideethewaveee (obviously ;)

    • @localoptimist

    • @namicommunicate

    • @wetheurban

    • @werenotreallystrangers

    • @secondsapart

    • @thefemaleworhol

    • @theopeninvite

    • @realdepressionproject

  3. Through sharing your own story and encouraging others to do the same if they feel comfortable. This is a great way to open up the conversation about mental health. By sharing your story, it can inspire others to do the same. It also can let other people know that they are not alone in their journey and that they are not the only ones that feel this way. Sharing your story can also be an outlet for yourself and helps you verbalize what you have been through. It can also give others another perspective or level of understanding to know how you truly feel and to connect to what you experienced even if they have personally never dealt with those feelings. 

  4. Through informational videos. Not everyone has the same opinion about mental health/mental illness; some people do not even believe that it is real. Videos are a great way to inform people who do not completely understand their own illness or for people who do not understand mental health in general. Videos can have the words and explanations that we lack to express. They can really illustrate and inform in a way that can resonate with anyone. It is another viewpoint rather than coming straight from an experience. Some educational videos/ Youtube Channels:

    • Best Youtube Informational Channel: Psych2go

    Trigger Warning Videos that are SO IMPORTANT:

  5. Through non-profit organizations. There are plenty of mental health organizations that share credible knowledge, education, and provide hope for many people. The goals of each organization are similar to our goals- to decrease the stigma of mental health, to open-up the conversation, to educate others, and in some cases, help provide access to affordable therapy. Some important organizations to know about:

  6. Get Involved. Several mental health organizations have events, volunteer opportunities, peer-led groups, and even certifications. There are so many ways you can be a part of the mental health community and to support yourself and others. It can feel good knowing and seeing that you can make an impact. Here are some events, volunteer experiences, certifications we recommend:

  7. Know your resources. Ride The Wave has an incredible resource page for important contacts for your time of need or to help others. We are not mental health professionals, but we can help guide you in the right direction! You can find hotlines, affordable therapy, and therapists and psychologists through our resource page. 

Lastly, try your best to be supportive, open-minded and as understanding as possible- to yourself and to others. Mental health is just as real as physical health. Everyone has their own mental health. Don’t add on to the already existing stigma. Continue to educate yourself and others. Let them know that their feelings are valid and that yours are too. And let them know that there are always resources if needed and that you are there for them. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month to all! We are here for you.