May is Mental Health Awareness Month in Canada and the US and it’s a chance to highlight mental health on a larger scale and raise awareness as a collective voice.
There are tons of activities happening across Canada, the biggest of which is Mental Health Week – Organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association – happening May 4-10.
Other activities include Child and Youth Mental Health Day – May 7 – organized by the National Institute of Families and The FORCE Society.
May is also a big month for me personally. 8 years ago this month is when I experienced my second (and last) episode of psychosis, attempted suicide, ended up on a psych ward and got diagnosed with schizophrenia.
By far the most frightening month of my life, thinking I was about to die any moment in the most horrifying ways – I can’t even share the details.
I shared some of the story in my 2014 TEDxSFU talk here: How to Turn Your Biggest Challenges into Your Biggest Opportunities.
Since then, I’ve been on a mission to raise awareness of mental health, to fight the isolation, shame, embarrassment and suffering caused by mental illness and societies lack of openness in talking about it.
Mavrixx is a result of this work. It’s a platform that allows me to work on mental health awareness full time.
But I recognize that not everyone has the opportunity or the interest in working on mental health full time, so with that in mind, I’ve come up with 5 super simple ways you can contribute to mental health awareness this month if you feel compelled to.
Make sure to join the Mavrixx community on Facebook and Instagram for more ways to get involved, upcoming mental health events, my best mental health recovery strategies and more.
Here’s the list..
1. Brand Your Facebook Profile Picture
Click here (or the image to the right) to add a 1/4 image to your current Facebook Profile Picture.
It helps raise awareness of the fact that 1/4 Canadian youth suffer with mental illness. And guess what? 70% of them don’t get ANY professional support.These are your friends, family members and even people you look up to, whether you know it or not.
Take 2 minutes and click the link above to update your profile photo now and join thousands doing the same.
2. Join the #Blog4MH Challenge
My former colleague Karen Copeland and now full time mental health promoter/blogger has just launched the #Blog4MH Challenge as a way to raise awareness all month.
It’s very straightforward – choose a number of blog posts per week you plan to write. Commit to commenting on/sharing others’ posts and make a splash with a bunch of cool people doing the same.
Whether you have suffered with mental health, been diagnosed with a mental illness, or just felt the feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, the idea is that we all struggle at times with our mental health.
We can also see that having strong and positive mental health is preferable to suffering with it.
Wherever you’re at on the graph above, I invite you to share your mental health story.
It could be in the form of a Facebook post, Blog post, video, speech, something artistic or any way to express your experience.
ONE LAST THING… if you like this article and want more people to see it, hit the ‘Like’ button on this page and share this article on your Facebook profile/page to get your friends involved!! The more voices talking about this, the more funding, services and supports there will be.
Together we can make sure that more than 30% of struggling youth get professional support and together we can save lives.
Brent Seal is a Speaker, Trainer and Adventurer and the Founder of Mavrixx. Based in Vancouver, Brent is the creator of The EDGE High Performance Wellness Training Program and the MINDvsMOUNTAIN Adventure Program. Brent is a Co-Creator and Co-Host of the Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit held at Rogers Arena and he's likely Canada's 4th worst ultra-runner.