There are a number of nonprofits, organization, and campaigns that focus on mental health. Some talk about mental health as a whole, some focus on specific demographic and minority groups, and many are centered on helping youth and adolescents.
Because it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight a few of these adolescent organizations if you want to find ways to help. You don’t have to feel like you’re limited to this list though, or even feel like you’re obligated to get involved in spreading mental health awareness. Activism and spreading awareness about anything can be a stressful task, and your mental health ultimately comes first. Do what’s best at your comfort level, which may be one of the options below!
If you want to or are able to donate, you can do so through pretty much organization. Active Minds has a bracelet that you can purchase, with all the proceeds going to support suicide prevention activities for students in high school and college. NAMI is a large organization that you can donate to, as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you want to get actively involved and volunteer, you can reach out to Young Minds Advocacy to see if you can get one of their representatives to speak for an event to help spread awareness in your community. The Mental Health First Aid National Council for Behavioral Health specifically focuses on making mental health and illness an important issue within politics, and has a handbook with how you can help contribute. You can also download toolkits from places such as teenmentalhealth.org and the HEARD Alliance and use them wherever you think is an accessible place for people to get education and information about mental health.
Of course, involvement and spreading awareness isn’t limited to physically getting out or spending money. If you want, you can participate in the several hashtags that organizations are using this month (examples include #RealConvo and #stopthestigma), sharing your own stories or sharing the stories of others.
Ultimately, if you want to get involved, find what’s comfortable for you.
Have you ever volunteered or have you ever contributed to conversations online about mental health? What are your favorite organizations? How did you learn about them?