Two Awesome Aussie Advocates!

Stories of Hope: An Interview with Stefani Caminiti and Lauren Breen This is part of a series featuring individuals who share their life experiences with mental health issues. Recently, I asked Australian mental health advocates (and best friends) Stefani Caminiti and Lauren Breen to talk about their extensive involvement in several innovative mental health advocacy initiatives. … Read more…

Why Raising Awareness About Mental Illness Is Not Enough

Your car needs an engine to run, but without wheels, gas, and a driver you won’t get anywhere. The engine is necessary but not sufficient for the car to operate successfully. Your body needs lungs to breathe, but without a heart, brain and other organs you won’t survive. Your lungs are necessary but not sufficient … Read more…

Why I’m a Mental Health Advocate

Recently, I got some exciting news that I’ve been selected as a finalist for a 2016 WEGO Health Activist Award in the “Best in Show – Blog” category. The awards also recognize outstanding activists in several other categories, such as social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube), “best kept secret,” “rookie of the year,” “lifetime … Read more…

11 Effective Ways to Recruit New Members for Your Cause

Are you involved with a great club, group, charity or organization you really feel passionate about? Would you like to recruit additional new members or supporters? This may sound easy on the surface, but it can be quite a challenge. The past decade has seen steady and significant decreases in various types of group membership, … Read more…

It’s Time to Raise Awareness about Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a great time to get involved in promoting greater understanding of mental health issues and helping those who are dealing with a mental illness. NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, encourages individuals and organizations to take the “stigmafree pledge.” It has three parts: Learn about mental health—educate … Read more…

Let’s Stop Bullying: 10 Things You Need to Know

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in an excellent online program called “Bullying Prevention and Response Training” sponsored by stopbullying.gov, a website of the US Department of Health and Human Services. I found it very educational and enlightening, so I thought you might be interested in hearing about a few of the highlights. I’ve summarized … Read more…

10 Priceless Gifts You Can Give to Someone with Mental Illness

Looking for that perfect holiday, birthday, or any day gift? If someone you care about is facing challenges related to mental health issues or addiction, you can give them many wonderful gifts throughout the year that won’t cost you a dime. Consider these. 1)  Give the gift of assistance “Helping others isn’t a chore; it is one … Read more…

Your Mental Health ‘Bill of Rights’

For centuries, societies have crafted written standards to protect individuals and to promote their basic human rights. Two extraordinary examples were the Magna Carta of 1215 and the US Bill of Rights in 1791. What if we decided to write a ‘bill of rights’ for mental health care? What would it look like? What ideals, … Read more…

Get to Know These 11 Awesome Advocates!

Thank you to the incomparable Lauren Hayley for the Sunshine Blogger Award – I greatly appreciate it! For this award, there are 11 nominations & 11 questions for nominees to answer. My Nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award: Please be sure to check out these fantastic bloggers. They are all great mental health advocates who show … Read more…

Take the Advocacy Aptitude Quiz

What do Martin Luther King, Jr., Bill and Melinda Gates, Susan B. Anthony, and Rosalynn Carter all have in common? They are all known for their outstanding advocacy, in the areas of civil rights (King), world hunger and poverty (Gates), women’s rights (Anthony), and mental health (Carter). Although these famous icons have helped bring about … Read more…

Ten Commandments for How to Talk About Mental Health

I was giving a lecture to a group of college students and I described how to show respect toward people with mental health concerns by using appropriate language. As one example, I noted it’s better to say “John has schizophrenia” instead of “John is schizophrenic.” I explained how “John has schizophrenia” puts the emphasis on … Read more…

Stop Discrimination Toward People with Mental Illness

In a recent post, I discussed “5 Simple Steps to Reduce Stigma About Mental Illness.” In case you missed it, the 5 steps were: 1) Don’t label people who have a mental illness. Use ‘person-first’ language. For example, say “she has schizophrenia” instead of “she’s a schizophrenic.” 2) Don’t be afraid of people with mental … Read more…

5 Simple Steps to Reduce Stigma About Mental Illness

If you tune into any conversation about mental illness and addiction, it won’t be very long until the term “stigma” comes up. Stigma has various definitions, but they all refer to negative attitudes, beliefs, descriptions, language or behavior. In other words, stigma can translate into disrespectful, unfair, or discriminatory patterns in how we think, feel, … Read more…

“What Do You Know About NAMI?”

There are many wonderful mental health organizations doing great work all around the world. So, when you single one out for praise, you run the risk of ticking off all the others. I’ll take that risk, because I want to recognize the many fine efforts of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (www.nami.org). NAMI … Read more…

“Know the Five Signs” to Change Direction for Mental Health

US First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced the launch of the new “Campaign to Change Direction” (www.changedirection.org), backed by a host of non-profit organizations, mental health leaders and corporate sponsors. The campaign’s goals are to see mental health as having equal value to physical health, to recognize the signs of emotional suffering, and to encourage … Read more…

Suicide Is Something We Can Definitely Live Without

This is ultimately a tale of heroes and life winning out over death. But first we must acknowledge some clear and painful truths. The tragic epidemic Suicide is a global public health epidemic and a personal tragedy affecting untold numbers of individuals and families. In case you didn’t know, suicide claimed the lives of over … Read more…

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