Why You Should Pay Attention To Mental Health Awareness Week


Why You Should Pay Attention To Mental Health Awareness Week

Join us for this worldwide virtual event, May 18-24

Educates about the importance of responsibly representing mental health and illness in stories, identifies and promotes books and authors that contribute to the culture of mental health, and helps people in need access these books.

Learn more about this new training!

The goal of the Campaign to Change Direction is to change the culture of mental health so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The Campaign encourages everyone to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being.


In order to change our culture, we have to start with a common language, and learn the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering.

Learn the Five Signs that may mean someone is in emotional pain and might need help:

Their personality changes.  You may notice sudden or gradual changes in the way that someone typically behaves. He or she may behave in ways that don’t seem to fit the person’s values, or the person may just seem different.

They seem uncharacteristically angry, anxious, agitated, or moody. You may notice the person has more frequent problems controlling his or her temper and seems irritable or unable to calm down. People in more extreme situations of this kind may be unable to sleep or may explode in anger at a minor problem.

They withdraw or isolate themselves from other people. Someone who used to be socially engaged may pull away from family and friends and stop taking part in activities he or she use to enjoy.

In more severe cases the person may start failing to make it to work or school.

Not to be confused with the behavior of someone who is more introverted, this sign is marked by a change in someone’s typical sociability, as when someone pulls away from the social support he or she typically has.

They stop taking care of themselves and may engage in risky behavior. You may notice a change in the person’s level of personal care or an act of poor judgment on his or her part.

For instance, someone may let his or her personal hygiene deteriorate, or the person may start abusing alcohol or illicit substances or engaging in other self-destructive behavior that may alienate loved ones.

They seem overcome with hopelessness and overwhelmed by their circumstances. Have you noticed someone who used to optimistic and now can’t find anything to be hopeful about? That person may be suffering from extreme or prolonged grief or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. People in this situation may say that the world would be better off without them, suggesting suicidal thinking.

Learn the Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being

Take care of you.  Eat, sleep and be active. We don’t often think about how important these basic activities are to our mental health – but they are critical!

Get checkups.  We get check-ups for our physical health and for our teeth. We even take our cars in for check-ups. It’s time to take responsibility and get check-ups for our emotional well-being. Talk with your doctor, a counselor, a faith-based leader… and your family and friends to make sure you are doing well emotionally.

Engage and connect wisely.  Pay attention to your relationships. We can’t be healthy if our relationships are not.

Be active, meditate, garden, dance, love, cook, sing…

Learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering.  And if you see them in someone you love, reach out, connect and offer to be of help.

You connect, you reach out, you inspire hope, and you offer help. Show compassion and caring and a willingness to find a solution when the person may not have the will or drive to help him- or herself. There are many resources in our communities.

It may take more than one offer, and you may need to reach out to others who share your concern about the person who is suffering.

 If everyone is more open and honest about mental health, we can prevent pain and suffering, and those in need will get the help they deserve.

Do you speak Spanish or Nepali?  Check out our translated tools!

Culture change happens faster if leaders and champions step forward to set examples for others to follow.

The Campaign to Change Direction, launched in 2015 by Give an Hour, is designed to change the conversation around mental health and emotional well-being. An essential aspect of this effort has been support from cultural icons and leaders from the world of entertainment – including music.

Music has a unique role for those who are experiencing emotional suffering and for the process of healing and recovery. It has the ability to affect the human spirit in a fundamental way. The contributions and the passion of musicians has been a vital component of our effort to change the culture of mental health and bring these conversations to a larger audience.

Learn more about Music Changes Direction Partners Here.

Help us spread the word and #changementalhealth by sharing our Jumbotron Public Service Announcement/PSA and using this Fire Away video to start a mental health conversation in your community.

We would to thank Chris and Morgane Stapleton for their compassion, courage and willingness to step up to create this important story – and the entire Stapleton team for their support of our mission.

We would also to thank actors Ben Foster and Margarita Levieva for their inspired and compelling performances. Finally, we would to thank Tim Mattia whose direction brought Chris’ vision into focus.

By lending their talent and their voices, these fine artists are helping us change the culture of mental health.

Download the Conversation Guide Here

Show you Know the Signs! Take a selfie with the message “I know the signs,” OR tell us who you are learning the signs for OR who you are sharing the signs with, on your hand. Five fingers, Five Signs. Help your message spread by tagging others and using the hashtag #ChangeMentalHealth.

Military communities, service members, veterans, and their families

Hispanic/Latino communities (in English)

Hispanic/Latino communities (in Spanish)

Make a Pledge

Pledge to learn the Five Signs and help change the national conversation about mental health.

Need Help?

Reach out to the resources in your communities.  Get the help you deserve.


Americans have a mental health condition


was spent on mental health care in the United States in one year


of those who are homeless have a mental illness


of people who die by suicide have a mental disorder.

Seven regions have joined the Campaign to Change Direction!

Take a look at how they are making in impact in their areas and, if you live in one of these regions, join their effort.

View Regional Pledges

Stay in the know with articles, events and press coverage of the Campaign.

Read the News

Looking for a way to support the Campaign to Change Direction?

Shop through one of our partners to raise funds for Give an Hour, the lead organization behind the Campaign.

Shop Now

In 2015, Give an Hour launched the Campaign to Change Direction to change the culture of mental health so that all in need are able to receive the care and support they deserve.

Just as we know the signs of a heart attack, we can all learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering that tell us someone is in pain and needs help.

By harnessing the skills and generosity of those willing to give, Give an Hour provides help and hope to those in need. Learn more at giveanhour.org.

We are proud to announce that Give an Hour has received a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator! Attaining a 4-star rating indicates that Give an Hour exceeds industry standards and outperforms most nonprofits in our area of focus. This is an exceptional designation from Charity Navigator that sets Give an Hour apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.

Source: https://www.changedirection.org/

Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 7-13

Why You Should Pay Attention To Mental Health Awareness Week

The phrase “golden years” conjures images of older adults basking in the carefree days that come with retirement. For one in four adults age 65 and older, however, those golden years can be accompanied by dark days in the form of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or dementia.

Even more disturbing is the fact that those 85 and older have the highest suicide rate of any age group. It's particularly alarming to learn that older white males have a suicide rate almost six times that of the general population. And future trends are especially concerning, as the number of older adults with mental health disorders is expected to nearly double by 2030.

These startling statistics demand attention, and ATRIO Health Plans is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 7-13, by increasing awareness about the prevalence of mental illness among older Americans.

Why Older Adults are at Risk

A variety of factors increase the risk of older adults experiencing mental health conditions:

  • Seniors often experience reduced mobility, chronic pain, frailty or other health problems requiring long-term care. A significant percentage of patients in these settings experience depression and other mental health issues.
  • For many older Americans, retirement can be accompanied by a drop in socioeconomic status, which can lead to depression and/or anxiety.
  • One-third of widows/widowers meet criteria for depression in the first month after their spouse's death, and half remain clinically depressed after one year.
  • Mental health has an impact on physical health, and vice versa. For instance, older adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, have higher rates of depression than those who are healthy. Similarly, untreated depression in an older person with heart disease can negatively affect heart disease outcomes. Clinical depression can be triggered by other illnesses common in later life, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and arthritis.
  • Mental health services often are underutilized by seniors because they're not comfortable discussing mental illness, or they may not even recognize that they're experiencing a mental health issue. Additionally, older adults frequently have acute physical maladies that take precedence during a doctor's appointment, leaving their mental health unaddressed.

Treating and Managing Mental Illness

Fortunately, there are highly effective treatments for depression occurring later in life, and most depressed older adults improve dramatically with treatment. Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and bipolar disorder, also can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.

If you're an older person with a mental health condition, the treatment you receive will be the same as for those in any other age group. Treatment depends on your symptoms, but may take one or more of the following forms:

  • Lifestyle changes such as daily exercise and having a healthy diet.
  • Psychotherapy to help you understand the root causes of your illness.
  • Medications to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
  • Learning how to reduce and manage stress.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Eliminating nicotine use.
  • Continuing treatment for as long as necessary.










Source: https://www.atriohp.com/news-blog/2018/october/mental-health-awareness-week-oct-7-13/

Mental health calendar

Why You Should Pay Attention To Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet too many people are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless because of this. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

We know that talking about mental health can feel awkward, but it doesn't have to. This year, we're using the popular game 'Would you rather?' to help break the ice and get the conversation flowing.

Choose talk, change lives. Get involved with Time to Talk Day >

Children's Mental Health Week

Children's Mental Health Week campaign hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of getting children support at the earliest possible opportunity, and to encourage parents to talk openly with children about their feelings and getting help.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week – 2 – 8 March 2020

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an international awareness event, fighting the myths and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders. 

Self Injury Awareness Day – 1 March 2020

Self Injury Awareness Day takes place every year on 1 March. It aims to raise awareness, understanding and empathy around self harm, and reduce the number of people struggling in silence.

University Mental Health Day

University Mental Health Day is the national campaign to focus efforts on promoting the mental health of people who live, work and study in Higher Education settings. Since starting in 2012 it is now run jointly by Student Minds and UMHAN (University Mental Health Advisers Network).

World Bipolar Day

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of bipolar disorders and to improve sensitivity towards the illness. It is promoted by the International Bipolar Foundation and partners.

Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work – Healthy Workplaces for all Ages

Healthy Workplaces for All Ages, aims to help employers to address the challenges of an ageing workforce and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable work throughout employees’ working lives.

UK Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week

A week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental illness while pregnant or after having a baby. We are dedicated to signposting to support for all mums. We will focus on advocating for mums affected by Maternal Mental Health, to access the information and help they require to enable recovery.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to run a series of activities in your workplace.

This year’s theme and activities are still to be announced.

Volunteers' Week

An annual event run by the National Council of Voluntary Organisations to celebrate volunteers and volunteering.

International Fathers' Mental Health Day

The day following Father’s Day, this campaign looks to highlight key aspects of fathers’ mental health with particular attention paid to paternal postpartum depression.

World Suicide Prevention Day

Organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation, the purpose of the day is to promote worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2019

World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to start the conversation on mental health in your workplace. We'll be relaunching our Ask Twice campaign – find out more >

National Stress Awareness Day

Normally held on the first Wednesday of November each year, this day is promoted by the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK). The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the effects of psychological distress in the workplace and of the many coping strategies and sources of help available to address it.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

It’s the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

Anti-bullying week

Source: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/resources/mental-health-calendar

Why You Should Pay Attention To World Mental Health Day

Why You Should Pay Attention To Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health can affect anyone any day of the year.

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

If you’ve ever heard the term ‘mental health’ and thought this isn’t for me, you may just want to keep reading.

While the language around mental health and mental illness has existed for decades, the conversation itself has become far more open and relevant to all (and rightly so). Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity summarises it concisely by saying “mental health can affect anyone any day of the year”.

While there is a World ‘Day’ for almost everything, today – World Mental Health Day – feels particularly significant and worthy of attention.

  • Mental health problems are one of the main causes of disease burden worldwide.
  • In the UK approximately one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year.
  • And one in six report experiencing one of the most common problems, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.

While there is a World ‘Day’ for almost everything, World Mental Health Day feels particularly… [+] significant and worthy of attention.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Days today at the very least, bring global attention to an important conversation and provide an opportunity for people to share and speak up more publicly about their own experiences.

In our increasingly online and social media-filled world, the necessity for people to hear the raw truth of what is really going on has become somewhat of a lifeline. Humans need to create meaning around their experiences to make sense of their lives and stories enable us to do so.

I think there’s a misnomer we’ve created in our own minds that to ‘deserve’ support you must be really depressed.  Or that ‘mental health’ must only be for those clinically ill or suffering really badly.

When we are able to experience others’ vulnerability, when their ‘masks’ are removed, we get to feel far more connected too. The shame we might hold around what we’re really experiencing gets exposed. And as Brene Brown, a global researcher on shame and fear says, shame can’t survive being spoken about.

Plus when others share that ultimately, behind the scenes there are both up and down days, it reiterates that we really are all simply human. Doing the best we can.

Shame can't survive being spoken about. The more we are able to experience others' stories, the more… [+] sense we make in our own lives.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

And so the conversation has started.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed numerous accounts of ‘successful’ people and business owners sharing their personal tales of struggle, depression, heartaches, and pains as part of their contribution to World Mental Health Day. On their own accord, not because someone told them to do so.

Amy Porterfield, an online marketing expert and trainer who has built a multi-million dollar business, and used to work for the world’s most renowned peak performance coach, Tony Robbins, opened up recently in her podcast with another entrepreneurial friend:

“I have definitely, definitely struggled with depression.” Amy Porterfield

In the podcast Amy and her guest Jasmine Star (another successful entrepreneur) also discuss the distinction between situational and clinical depression, acknowledging that most of us will experience situational depression to some degree in our lives.

“Everybody has bad days or a series of bad things that happen.” Jasmine Star

And given that knowledge, why wouldn’t we want to treat our mental health with the same level of respect we give our physical health? Just as easily as you may sign up to a new bootcamp challenge, how eagerly do you give attention to your own mental health?

Why wouldn’t we want to treat our mental health with the same level of respect we give our physical… [+] health?

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

To this day there are practices and support Amy continues to draw on regularly to maintain and improve her health.

Amy says that “Mental health issues can be uncomfortable to talk about, but that needs to change.”

Maybe you used to see mental health as not relevant to me. My wish would be that days today help to normalise mental health, and help people globally feel ‘more human’. To know that it’s okay if there are tough times and that it’s also okay to reach out for support.

Maybe today is about the recognition that you have the power to create an environment for your own personal mental health that feels healthy, sustainable and fulfilling – just as much as you would do with your physical health. And to feel more okay to start a conversation about it.

Note: I am not a mental health expert, nor is this article intended to give you advice. It is intended to make you feel more human. And it is intended to highlight an opportunity to speak up.

If you feel you need professional support right now, please consult your GP or visit Mind’s website (a leading UK mental health charity) for more support resources as well as access to their helpline.

Should you be experiencing crisis right now this NHS website has links to further support, including free 24/7 support lines.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daniellebrooker/2018/10/10/why-you-should-pay-attention-to-world-mental-health-day/