Written by Team BBP
May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
To create a culture of acceptance and understanding, we must recognize as a collective that mental illness is a common and treatable health condition, and seeking help is a sign of strength - not weakness. At BBP, we strive to create a safe, supportive, and inclusive space where we can feel comfortable discussing our mental health without facing the stigma - because it is okay to not be okay and if you are struggling, you deserve compassion and support.
Breaking the stigma and changing the narrative of mental health requires us all to step up individually, and as a collective. Here are five ways we can make an impact.
1. Educate yourself.
Learning about mental health, the causes, available treatments, and understanding the facts behind conditions will help you challenge misconceptions and promote accurate information.
2. Share personal experiences / engage in the conversation.
When we share our stories it not only empowers others to do the same, but also cultivates an environment of acceptance and understanding. Even engaging in the conversation and encouraging others to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences can help foster a safe space and provide support. Sharing our personal experiences with mental health openly and unapologetically is a powerful way to help reduce the stigma.
3. Challenge stereotypes.
Society has historically viewed mental health conditions through a lens of misunderstanding and fear. Mental illnesses were attributed to supernatural causes or believed to be due to someone's own personal weakness and people were generally ostracized by society as a whole. In the media, mental health conditions are often portrayed inaccurately by depicting characters as dangerous, unpredictable, and someone/something to fear. These portrayals further deepen the misconceptions and societal stigmatization and lead to further isolation, suffering, and limited opportunities for people to receive proper support or treatment.
CHALLENGE THE STEREOTYPES AND CALL OUT THE MISCONCEPTIONS. Our society has failed those who have come before us and many of those who are here now, we cannot let it continue to fail those who will come after us. We are all worthy of acceptance and love — and we are more than enough.
4. Advocate for policy change.
Support policies that improve access to mental health care services, reduce the barriers to treatment, and prioritize mental health care in our healthcare system. Advocate for change, use your voice and your vote, and contact your elected officials to express concerns and help make a difference.
5. Tend to your own mental health.
We always say at BBP that beauty is how you feel. But what does that mean exactly? We believe that the way we tend to ourselves - mentally, physically, and spiritually - reflects outwardly. When we create space and time to tend to ourselves, that inner work reflects outwardly and radiates. When we prioritize our mental well-being, we also set an example for others that caring for ourselves matters. Mental health is your wealth. Dedicate time to implement self-care into your routine, seek support when needed, and know that you are not alone.
Together, little by little, we can cultivate a world where mental health is tended to and proper care is accessible, prioritized, and handled with compassion and care for all.
If you or someone you know is struggling, the button below will take you to a list of resources and organizations that we recommend if you're looking for support, education, and/or crisis services.
Xx, Team BBP