10 for 10/10:
10 Ways to Take Action this World Mental Health Day
You can #BeTheDifference
Join Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in honoring World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, 2022, by taking action to make wellbeing for all a global priority.
Remember to share your mental health story with us by Monday, Oct. 10 for a chance to win a free MHFA merchandise bundle or a complimentary registration to NatCon23 in Los Angeles, California, May 1–3, 2023.
Share Your Mental Health Story
MHFA is creating a platform for individuals with lived experience to share their insight with the MHFA community and the world — and help change the narrative surrounding mental wellbeing. Storytelling is powerful and can provide mental health benefits like increased positive emotions, empathy, memory retention and more. Exploring personal stories, reflecting on them and sharing them with others can also help us process, heal and grow. Your stories can also inspire hope for others living with a mental health or substance use challenge. You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 10 to submit your story. When you do, you’ll be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a free MHFA merchandise bundle or a complimentary registration to NatCon23 in Los Angeles, California, May 1-3, 2023.Submit Your Story
Add These Numbers to Your Contacts
No one is immune to mental health challenges, and MHFA wants you to be prepared when you or someone around you needs help. Add the following important resources to your contact list. They could make an impactful difference in your own life or the life of someone you know.
Call 911 in an emergency, if you feel unable to keep yourself safe or if someone appears at risk of self-harm.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial or text 988 for 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress.
Veterans Crisis Line:Text 838-255 OR dial 988 then press 1 to get 24/7 confidential crisis support. Responders are real people, many of them veterans, who are specially trained to support veterans.
The Trevor Project: Text “Start” to 678-678 OR call 866-488-7386 all day, any day to reach trained counselors who can support people under 25 who are in crisis, feeling suicidal or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk. The Trevor Project specializes in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
National Eating Disorders Helpline: Call or text 800-931-2237 for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one who may be experiencing an eating disorder.
You can also save this graphic on your device for a quick reference guide and share it on your social media channels!
Take a Mental Health Day
Feeling some level of stress related to work is understandable, but if it begins to affect your everyday mood, your personal relationships or your mental health, and you’re feeling burned out, it could be time to request some time off from work, whether it’s a few hours or days.We know that doing this can be intimidating, so here’s a guidefrom Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)on how to ask your boss.
Find an MHFA Instructor in Your Community
MHFA Instructors are on the frontlines of the program, and are helping make mental wellbeing, including recovery from substance use, a reality for everyone, everywhere.For Day 4 of our countdown to World Mental Health Day, connect with an MHFA Instructornear you and learn how you can implement MHFA within your community. To find an Instructor near you, visit the Find-a-Course tool, enter your city/state, and scroll down to see a list of Instructors. Filter to see only Instructors by using the course/Instructor toggle buttons on the left-hand side of your screen.Anyone with a passion for wellbeing can make a difference, and no specific academic or professional credentials are required to become an MHFA Instructor. Looking for more reasons to get certified? Check out this blog post.
Talk About Mental Wellbeing
The past few years have been challenging (to put it mildly) and have brought on an unprecedented mental health crisis. Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. Want to help? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), simply talking to someone sympathetic in your life about your mental health challenges can help reduce your stress and improve your mood. For Day 5 of our countdown to World Mental Health Day, have a conversation about mental wellbeing. While it might seem difficult or awkward, it doesn’t have to be. Just a few words — like asking someone how they’re feeling — can make a big difference. If you’re not sure where to start, we have the answer! Check out this blog for five tips to start a conversation about mental health.
Sign us up for this! Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress and increase happiness. Self-care does not need to be time-consuming or expensive. It’s up to you – choose practices that make you feel refueled (culinary self-care, anyone?).Americans participating in a December 2020 national survey cited benefits of self-care like enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%) and happiness (71%). From a physical health perspective, self-care also reduces heart disease, stroke and cancer.For some self-care inspiration, see how MHFA staff stay well and read National Trainer Suzanne Pearlman’s “Living My Values” blog for examples of daily, weekly and monthly self-care practices you can try today.
Get Ready for the 2023 MHFA Summit
Meet us in Los Angeles for the 2023 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Summit for a chance to learn, network and innovate alongside your peers. Even if you’re not an MHFA Instructor yet, read on if interested in attending.At Summit, you can expect to:
• Explore industry-leading curriculum designed to help you strengthen your skill sets.
• Experience panels on everything from cultural awareness to funding your MHFA initiative.
• Hear inspiring stories from likeminded peers and public figures in our space.
• Uncover strategies for reaching new audiences in your community.
• Potentially earn continuing education units (CEUs) to aid in your professional development.
Future MHFA Instructors: By now, you’ve probably heard of the Great Resignation. Did you know that 31% of the 4.3 million U.S. workers who left their jobs in January 2022 did so to become self-employed, 65% of employees say they are rethinking the place that work should have in their lives and 56% say they want to contribute more to society?If these points strike a chord with you, becoming a certified MHFA Instructor may be the solution!Learn more about how you can join the 15,000+ Instructors on the frontlines of MHFA across the country and read up on the benefits of becoming an MHFA Instructor. Registration for the 2023 MHFA Summit is opening soon.
Learn How Culture Influences Mental Health
Culture shapes people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors when it comes to wellbeing. We know that historically marginalized communities, such as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities, face disproportionate challenges around access to and quality of mental health and substance use care. But also, some cultures might value having family included in mental health decisions, and some people may not. Likewise, some people may turn to a chaplain, spiritual leader or healer for mental health help first rather than a medical doctor, while others may choose a doctor. When you’re helping people who come from cultural backgrounds different from your own, it’s important to understand how to create a culturally safe environment. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) offers resources on this topic so you can #BeTheDifference:
With one in five adults experiencing a mental health challenge each year, we must all advocate for mental health policies that help increase access to care and reduce stigma surrounding mental health and substance use challenges. Here are a few ways you can speak up for mental wellbeing:
Sign up for advocacy alerts to help urge your elected officials to make meaningful policy changes.
Share mental health resources with your network via social media.
Subscribe to the Capitol Connector newsletter to stay in the know on the latest policy news.
Write your legislator to ensure your voice is heard when it comes to important issues impacting your community.
Encourage your friends, family and community members to get trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Apply to become a National Council Ambassador to highlight the local impact of federal policies.
Donate to The National Council to help us connect people to care, advance health care through advocacy, increase mental health literacy and invest in the mental health and substance use treatment workforce.
Celebrate World Mental Health Day!
It’s World Mental Health Day! Let’s continue to take action toward improving the mental wellbeing of ourselves and our communities. Check out MHFA’s latest blog for ideas on how to celebrate and remember to tag us @MentalHealthFirstAidUSA when posting on Facebook and Instagram, and @MHFirstAidUSA when posting on Twitter. If you enjoyed learning about mental wellbeing this October and want to get more involved, be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter and the new MHFA Digest to get the latest MHFA blogs, news and updates delivered directly to your inbox. Thank you for choosing to #BeTheDifference on this World Mental Health Day — and every day!
Mental Health First Aid training has taught the officer to ask his charges, “What happened?” instead of, “What’s wrong with you?””–Officer Orlando Singleton
So many people are out there wishing for something better, hoping that help will show up. That’s what Mental Health First Aid is – it is help to get people connected to care and ultimately to get them to a better place.”–Tousha Paxton-Barnes, U.S. Army Veteran
As adults, we sometimes forget how hard it was being an adolescent. When we see a kid who is just miserable at school, we might think they choose to be that way – or that it’s just part of adolescence. But in fact, they might be in a mental health crisis, one they certainly did not choose and do not want.
When a teacher says “how can I be helpful,” that is a powerful question. ”–Alyssa Fruchtenicht, School-Based Mental Health Counselor