Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?

I love that the focus of May is Mental Health Awareness. So often we look to physical signs and symptoms for things going on in our lives and bodies when really the best place we can start is our minds. 

1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. This means there are more than likely a few people in your inner circle struggling with these things and you don't know it. To assume that no one is struggling and that people can all cope the same does not allow people to recover and heal in their own way. 

Our mind is a wonderful and powerful thing. It has the ability to pep talk us and remind us of the good and it also has the ability to take us down a black hole spiral that leads to no good. When it comes to making any changes in your life, the best and first place you need to start is with your mind. 

Self-love and body-acceptance doesn't start with getting the body and life you dreamed of. It starts right now, with appreciating what you have and planting positive consistent thoughts about yourself. It means getting the help you need and making yourself a priority. 

So how can you help?

  1. Remove the stigma. There can be so many assumptions made when it comes to mental illness but there is really so much we still don't understand. And when it comes down to it what we should be doing is trying to see the person and not the illness. Those things do not have to define you or the life you live and they shouldn't define others struggling as well. When we allow people to be open and honest with their struggles we create a safer space for them to be themselves.
  2. Be open and spread awareness. When we talk about things and bring them into the light they can lose so much of their destructive power. Being open with your own journey or just encouraging a loved one on their changes the dynamic of what people assume mental illness is and how it can impact each of our lives. 
  3. Purchase a necklace from Always Coco! One of my sweetest friends JUST launched a gorgeous jewelry line and 5% of every purchase goes to the National Alliance of Mental Health. These pieces are easy to layer, wear dressed up or dressed down and all in all are just so pretty! Buy yours at www.alwayscoco.com/shop
  4. Buy a coaching plan with me! So one of the organizations I donate to is called 'To Write Love On Her Arms' and with every purchase I receive I donate a portion of that to a few nonprofits including TWLOHA. This program is a movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
  5. Help yourself. If you are struggling with any form of mental illness I encourage you to seek help. There is no shame in seeking help for things you are struggling with and it can be one of the bravest things you do. When we prioritize our mental health and happiness we are able to then focus on so much more once that is no longer creating such a stress in our lives. 

Spread awareness, spread love and be kind! You have no idea what those around you are walking through so I encourage you to be kind to each person you see today, smile, be helpful and invest in those around you. The more we spread these types of actions the more we can change the world! 

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!