Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022 Mental Health Matters header image

MHAM 2022: Together for Mental Health

When we come together for mental health, we can help individuals get the appropriate resources they need to reach their fullest potential.

About the 2022 MHAM Theme: Together for Mental Health

After two challenging years due to the pandemic, many are eager to come together again. There’s power in coming together. And that includes coming together for mental health.

Together we can support one another, having meaningful and educated conversations to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. Together we can empower our friends, co-workers, and loved ones to seek treatment and recovery services. Together we can ensure families and individuals can access much-needed mental health services regardless of their financial situation.

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Together We Can...

Make It OK

light bulb iconDid you know mental illnesses are as common as silver cars and brown eyes? Yet the stigma prevents many people from seeking help. That’s why it’s important we join together to learn more and empower ourselves and others. The Make It OK campaign helps individuals just like you learn, talk, and share about mental illness. Explore the Make It OK page to learn more or book a Make It OK presentation for your upcoming civic club or organization.

Learn What’s Available

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From outpatient therapy and substance use services to psychoeducation and inpatient crisis stabilization, there are more than 30 programs available at Peace River Center to help individuals and families in Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties.

Let’s work together to make sure everyone knows about these important mental health services and mental illness recovery programs.

Explore them all through our website services or by flipping through our electronic Directory of Services. That way if a family member, friend or coworker ever needs mental health help, you know what resources are available.

Together We Can...

Change the Dialogue

chat boxes iconsWe talk about our our aches and pains, hearts, allergies, etc. We will share what blood pressure meds we are on or what natural remedies work for us. So why do we avoid discussing our mental health? Stigma. But it’s time to start having open and honest conversations about our mental health too!

Unsure of where to start if you’re worried about a friend or coworker? Flip the cards below for conversation tips. Together we can ask meaningful questions to find out how people really are doing, then link them to the resources if needed.

Learn How to Respond

chat boxes iconsWhen you get together with friends or coworkers and they mention their mental health or mental illness, it’s important to know how to respond. Here are some general guidelines to follow. Then check out these tips for what to say and not to say.

Do you want to take a walk?
Engaging a friend, family member or loved one you are concerned about in a health activity like taking a walk together can be a great way to start a conversation. Doing an activity while you talk can take some of the nerves and discomfort out of the conversation.
How are you really?
Sometimes when someone says they’re fine, they’re not. Know the warning signs to look for, such as withdrawing from activities they previously enjoyed or sleeping too little or too much, so you can know when to offer extra support.
Lately I've noticed...
Open the conversation by explaining behavior changes you have noticed. For example, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been showing up to work late a lot lately.” Then, express genuine concern.
Are you thinking about suicide?
If you are concerned someone is considering suicide, ask the question directly. Asking will NOT increase the risk they will complete suicide. Visit our resources to learn more.

Together We Can...

Learn More About Mental Illness

gray hands holding red heartToo often, stigma can cause people with a mental illness to feel ashamed. The stigma can cause them to hide or not seek help for this treatable medical condition. It’s time we come together to educate ourselves and others about the myths surrounding mental illness. Check out the boxes below to learn more. Together we can stop the stigma.

If you want to take a deeper look into symptoms associated with mental illness and read stories of individuals impacted by mental illness, check out our Make It OK page.

Share What’s Available

gray hands holding red heartWe don’t say someone is cancer, we say they HAVE cancer. We need to use the same language when addressing mental illness. He is not bipolar, he HAS bipolar disorder. Together we can make sure individuals who are living with a mental illness feel supported. Check out these real life stories to learn what hurtful language you should avoid.

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Click each question or statement below to learn more.

Mental illnesses are common, treatable medical conditions disrupting a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning.

It’s important to note mental illnesses are not character flaws. They are not imaginary and not something to “get over.” People cannot will (or pray) their way out of a mental illness; similar to diabetes they are medical conditions that require treatment.

Mental illness can be caused by a variety of things including trauma, genetics, and chemical or biochemical changes in the brain.

Talking about mental illness in a compassionate and supportive way makes people feel less alone. Not sure where to start or what to say? Think of what you’d say or do for a family member or friend who experiencing a physical illness like diabetes or a broken foot. Respond to someone facing a mental illness in the same caring, kind way!

One in five adults in the United States will be impacted by a mental illness in any given year. One in six children aged 2–8 years had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder according to a 2016-2019 CDC study. There is not one gender or age group or occupation impacted more severely by mental illness. It impacts all sorts of individuals from all walks of life.

Together We Can...

Share What’s Available

green icon linking peopleTogether we can spread the word about local resources like Peace River Center’s free, 24-hour emotional support and crisis line that is available by call (863.519.3744) or text (863.204.3443). One easy way to share this important information is to visit our Facebook or Instagram page and share posts with your friends and followers. You never know who it might help in a moment of need.

Together We Can...

Change Lives

green heart with donate and hand pressing donateWhen we combine awareness efforts together with financial support lives change for the better. Did you know more than 90 percent of the individuals and families Peace River Center serves are at 200 percent or more below the poverty level. Imagine overcoming the stigma and knowing your loved one needs mental illness support, but not being able to afford it. That’s why during May we encourage you to help us engage, restore and empower individuals with a meaningful gift. Will you give the gift of hope today?

Show Our Support

green heart with donate and hand pressing donateWhether it’s offering to drop off a meal or help with childcare, you can donate your time and treasurers to support friends, family and coworkers with a mental illness. If someone has opened up to you, ask how you can help. When we come together to support others, we assure them: you are not alone. That message can change someone’s life.