Ideas to Raise Awareness and Funds for Mental Illness

Awareness is great,

but taking action is ESSENTIAL.

Why is Raising Awareness for Mental Health Important?

Raising awareness is important because it becomes easier to identify mental illness, which leads to faster treatment, which then leads to better treatment results. One out of four people suffer from a mental illness, and it impacts EVERYONE, not just the person with the illness! This includes our family, friends and close community members. This is why it is important that we work together to raise awareness and break the stigma of mental illness.

By becoming more aware and knowledgeable of mental health, we can break the stigma, and mental illness might become easier to understand. Breaking the stigma means that we would be shifting negative misconceptions and behaviors of the community towards the positive side. Knowledge and taking appropriate actions towards accepting people struggling with a mental illness would make a HUGE difference.

Raising awareness for mental health is a PRIORITY because there is a high demand.

Read more about the importance of raising awareness here


Raising Awareness and Funds Ideas

  • Use artwork to spread the word: Graffiti party; make a sign for your yard; hang a poster for in the window of your house; hang a paper in your classroom; paint rocks and place them around the neighborhood or local park; use chalk to create messages on the sidewalk; yarn bombing; etc.
  • Create an athletic event: Local homerun derby; a race; a bowling tournament; cycle or run across your state or country; corn hole tournament; potato sack race; CrossFit or weightlifting competition; pushup competition; hiking event; golf tournament; frisbee golf tournament; triathlon; obstacle course race; etc.
  • Community: Neighborhood or church cookout; BINGO night; go kart race; school fair; school play; put on a concert; cinema night; plant a garden; dedicate a bench in memory of someone who passed away; scavenger hunt; hold a dinner and have a guest speaker; kite flying event; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.
    • Write about mental health: share your story in a public space; write a blog, book or article; poetry; etc.
    • Media: use social media as a platform; create a short film; create an online photo gallery; etc.

    Use your talent and creativity, the sky is the limit!

    Get involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

    • Plan an in-person fundraising event for your community.
    • Celebrate a milestone, special occasion or holiday by supporting NAMI in lieu of gifts.
    • Design your own online campaign to raise awareness and support NAMI.
    • Create a memorial page for a loved one you’ve lost as a meaningful, lasting tribute.
    • Undertake a physical challenge and keep yourself motivated by supporting NAMI.

    Additional Ideas on Taking Action

    Anxiety and Depression Association of America

  • Share your story, project (school projects, too!) or fundraiser. Visit the “Understand the Facts” section to learn more about anxiety, depression and other co-occurring and related mental health illnesses. Become a member of their online member community.

  • Article from Verywell that covers information on the leading mental health charities and organizations.

  • Learn how to be an advocate. Mental Health America National Institute of Mental Health, which is dedicated to clinical research, and they have free brochures, booklets and e-books that can help educate the public. National Alliance on Mental Health American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Child Mind Institute. This organization is an invaluable resource to parents. https://childmind.org/ Other resources

  • 5 ways to raise awareness during May (mental health month).

  • Take to social media to inspire others to get involved. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Use these hashtags to reach a larger audience: #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #MentalHealthMonth #MHM #StigmaFree #IntoMentalHealth
  • Encourage others to share your posts
  • Encourage open communication
  • Share screening tools
  • Contact your legislators
  • Support advocacy efforts
  • For more details, follow the link

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • How to get involved and become a leader.
  • NAMI Walk
  • Become a fundraiser
  • Attend a NAMI National Convention
  • Pledge to be stigma free
  • Awareness events
  • Partner with NAMI
  • Share your story
  • More! NAMI is awesome

  • GoFundMe tips on making a larger impact with your fundraiser.

  • Mental health fundraising
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Start a conversation
  • Craft care packages
  • Share your story
  • Go social
  • Host a community-wide fundraising event
  • Go to the website to learn more details and to create a mental health fundraiser.
  • Visit their other resources.
  • Mental health fundraising spreads joy and positivity.

    Physical Challenges

    Mental Health America’s #4Mind4Body Challenge

  • This is such a cool challenge.
  • Something for everyday in the month of May.
  • It will positively impact your life… and maybe even those around you.
  • Learn about #MindfulMonday #TastyTuesday #WorkplaceWednesday #ThoughtfulThursday #FitnessFriday #StressFreeSaturday #SleepWellSunday
  • Mental and physical wellness; eating; mindfulness; anxiety triggers; sleep; motivation; gratitude; brain; inspiration; celebration; thoughtfulness.

  • Pushup Challenge

    I took on the 25 Pushups for 25 Days Challenge to raise awareness for mental health and suicide (including suicide prevention), you can read about how to do the challenge here and also watch my pushup videos.

    View my Pushup Challenge on YouTube. The video contains statistics on mental health and suicide

    Walks

    MentalHelp.net An American Addictions Center Resource’s fun ways to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

  • NAMI Walks
  • Out of the Darkness Walks
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • I Rock the Walk for Mental Health Awareness, Active.com group.

  • NAMI Walks

  • A National Day of Hope
  • Tools and resources to magnify your efforts.
  • There are THOUSANDS of participants and MILLIONS of dollars raised.

  • More Organizations to Visit

    REHABSPOT

  • Substance use can be a roadblock for many people.
  • Free self-help resource about drugs, alcohol, addiction, and recovery.
  • The benefits of rehab and about services.

  • Charity Navigator Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

  • Disasters and natural disaster support
  • COVID-19 top nonprofits
  • Humanitarian and civil rights
  • Protecting the environment
  • Thank you for your efforts.

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    Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

    How to set goals

    Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

    Specific

    Measurable

    Attainable

    Realistic

    Time-based

    This is important framework for creating any goal, short-term or long-term. I keep this structure in mind when helping people set goals and intentions.

    We work smart

    ▪︎ We are specific

    ▪︎ We look at the details of the desired outcome

    ▪︎ We talk about what already works for the person and if we can use it to reach the current goal

    ▪︎ We discuss how to go about the smaller steps towards completing the bigger picture

    ▪︎ We figure out a time frame and consider how much time a person has to devote towards the goal

    ▪︎ We explore appropriate alternative strategies and methods to reach the goal. There’s probably more than one way to go about it

    ▪︎ I teach people new strategies and we determine how they can be applied to reflect what we’re aiming for

    Reach out to me if you think I can help with a goal.

    Browse my blog (and subscribe) to see what kind of work that I do and for free, downloadable mental health resources!

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    The Benefits of Keeping a Journal and Journal Prompts

    Choosing a Journal

    When choosing what to write in, consider all of your options and what best suits your needs. A journal can be a spiral-bound notebook, which is an easy to find and cheap option. Combination code or lock and key journals can provide privacy and are usually well-made. A journal can be kept electronically in a secure computer. It is convenient to access and saves your hand from becoming cramped in writing position.

    Benefits

    • Relaxing and stress relieving.
    • A coping tool.
    • A way to vent or express emotions and thoughts.
    • Makes your thoughts more apprehensible.
    • Improve and train your writing.
    • Sharpens skills.
    • Set and achieve goals.
    • A way to become more organized.
    • Develop improved understanding of yourself and situations occurring in your life.
    • Allows for creativity.
    • Provides you with a way to reflect and consider new ideas.
    • Record new ideas on-the-go.
    • Allows self-reflection.
    • A place to keep memories.
    • Boosts memory.
    • Provides you with a record of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You can use this record to track patterns over time, which can lead to problem solving.
    • Can help you feel a sense of accomplishment.
    • You will learn new things.
    • Can provide you motivation and inspiration.
    • And many, many MORE!

    Instructions

    Use your journal however you’d like! Decorate it and add pictures. Slip a photo of a favorite memory, person or pet inside. Write in different colors or use black ink. When you start a new journal entry, include the date, so that you have that information if you ever need it. Write about your day freely or choose a prompt. It might take you a little time to get used to writing, you might encounter writer’s block, and you may struggle to find what time to write. Don’t stress, it’s okay! Writing should become easier overtime and this isn’t meant to be stressful, it is meant to be therapeutic and enjoyable! Aim to write everyday because it will help develop a habit and really reap those benefits. If you end up writing most days of the week, that is still good, just keep in mind that you might get out of habit of keeping your journal if you don’t write frequent enough.

    Download the journal prompts below.

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    Western Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations and Charities (Directories)

    Resources, resources, resources!
    “Knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.” African Proverb

    I want to help provide people with the tools to cultivate their own gardens. Below are links to directories for nonprofit organizations and charities.

    The Pittsburgh region is blessed by over 3,000 nonprofit organizations. Services and opportunities are right around the bend.



    Great Nonprofits (rated):
    https://greatnonprofits.org/city/pittsburgh/PA

    Charity Navigator (rated):
    https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.metro&metroid=19&linkback=1

    Together We Flourish (by county):
    https://togetherweflourish.com/nonprofits-by-interests/

    Nonprofit Talent: find a job, internship or volunteer opportunity:
    https://jobs.nonprofittalent.com/

    Pittsburgh Gives: search for nonprofits:
    https://www.pittsburghgives.org/nonprofits

    Connoquenessing Creek, Harmony, PA

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