I have talked quite a bit about NAMI on here. But there are a lot of other good organizations that promote mental health advocacy out there.
Here are a few of them:
To Write Love on Her Arms – I really love this organization. A little bit about it, per their website – “To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into treatment and recovery.
To Write Love on Her Arms began in Orlando, FL in 2006 when our founder, Jamie Tworkowski, wrote a story about a friend who struggled with self-injury and addiction and the five days preceding her entry into treatment. The story, which was entitled ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ went viral, and T-shirts were initially printed and sold as a way to pay for that friend’s treatment. Since then, TWLOHA has become a non-profit which serves as a bridge to hope and help for people facing the same issues.”
Rethink Mental Illness – This is an organization based in England. They help provide advice and information to those affected with mental illness. They provide support groups (150 across England!) and have 200 mental health services. They campaign for policy change and run the Time To Change campaign.
Active Minds – Is a great organization that is developed on college campuses. It promotes those on University’s across the nation to get involved in educating others about mental health and encouraging people to seek help if needed. This organization aims to remove the stigma associated with mental illness by educating the minds of college students and the communities they are in by creating open conversations.
Bring Change 2 Mind – This organization is aimed at ending stigma and discrimination by distributing public education materials which are based on the latest scientific insights.
The Jed Foundation – This organization is aimed toward college aged students by promoting mental health and suicide prevention. They work with the public and those involved in higher education to teach them about the knowledge and warning signs of suicide, importance of mental health, how to encourage help-seeking behaviors, and promote awareness and understanding among them.
Of course there are others too. If you know of some, feel free to leave them in the comments section for others to see and I will add them on here too!
Throughout high school and college people often have come to me for advice.
I had friends come to me for relationship advice. I had them come to me about family issues. Schools problems. Friendships gone awry. I had a few that were suffering with anorexia and suicidal thoughts themselves. I was always willing to stay up with them, all night if need be, to talk to them and listen to them about what was going on. I never wanted anyone to suffer through the pain of being alone like I had all too often felt.
I cant say that I gave great advice all the time. I am not a therapist or a doctor so I in no way had any evidence based advice to give. But I gave out some pretty sound, logical advice. Advice that I should probably listen to myself every once in a while!
So why is it that when someone comes to us asking for advice, it is so easy for us to tell them what the right thing to do is, but when we are in that situation, we cannot seem to listen to our own advice that we once gave?
When someone else wants to die, to kill themselves – the obvious answer is — No way! You shouldn’t die You have so much to live for. That would hurt your friends and family so much.
But when you want to kill yourself — the obvious answer in your head is — What is wrong with killing myself? No one will care. I don’t have anything to live for. I am just a burden to everyone around me.
Sometimes, when we are struggling with something. We need to step back and think about what would we say about it if our best friend, our brother, or our sister was saying that. What would we tell them. And not just make excuses about it then, not say well that doesn’t apply to me though because … But listen to what we would tell them and listen to that advice! We need to listen to our own advice!
When it comes down to it, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?” Can you listen to your own advice?