Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to present about mental health, wellness and recovery to a number of audiences. Each time there have been individuals in the audience who are seeking answers and more information about mental health conditions, services and supports for themselves or someone they know. Education and awareness are key strategies to addressing stigma related to mental health conditions.
In June, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new website, www.MentalHealth.gov. This new online resource offers a one stop shop for individuals wanting to learn more about mental health, wellness and recovery. The site provides information to educate viewers about the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to seek help. Something I really found inA spiring on the site are the Stories of Hope and Recovery. Here you will hear the personal accounts of individuals like Daryl, Anisha, Yashi and Christian; everyday people who candidly share their experiences living with a mental health condition and of their approaches to recovery. You will also find well-known people like Cher, Senator Gordon Smith, Demi Lovato and John Saunders talk about mental health and how it has impacted their lives:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMdFj4e0Q18&w=640&h=360] Lastly, the website includes a Toolkit for Community Conversations about Mental Health. The toolkit contains information to equip communities and groups with a structure for facilitating conversations about mental health. What better way to provide education about mental health, eradicate stigma and create awareness that recovery is possible! Have you been involved in any community dialogues around mental health, recovery and wellness in your area? Tell us about it.