- Take on a career path where you can make a positive, lasting impact:
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in mental health, there are a number of fields that offer an opportunity to provide care to those afflicted. Consider a future in counseling, psychology, psychiatry, social work, or nursing.
If you’re interested in becoming a mental health professional, start by considering where you are in your career and what specialty field you’d like to join. Some important questions include: Do you have the requisite education to work in the field of mental health or psychotherapy? (most roles for therapists require a master’s degree) What are your salary expectations? What population do you hope to work with?
- Talk about mental health more openly:
Talk to those around you about how they are feeling, and take the time to truly listen. Check in regularly, especially if you know they are under strain or dealing with a mental illness.
- Don’t leave children out of it:
Kids are naturally curious and have questions about everything, including mental health. Adults can help children understand that mental illnesses are real illnesses that can be treated. You can be a part of changing the conversation for future generations.
- Share mental health screening sites on your social media channels:
Taking a mental health screening is one of the fastest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Most people don’t know these exist, however. Since screenings are beneficial tools for everyone — both for those who may think they have a mental illness and for those who don’t— gather a list of screening sites and share them with your social network. It helps to raise the awareness around mental health issues and offers your followers a tangible first step that could change someone’s life.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of various mental health illnesses:
Mental illness can take many forms and therefore be hard to identify. As a result, many who could benefit from professional treatment don’t get the help they need as quickly as they should, if at all. Understanding the warning signs and how you can help your loved one cope once they’re receive a diagnosis will help decrease the number of people who suffer in silence without advocates.
- Participate in local advocacy efforts to support and expand mental health legislation:
Policy change is a big, impactful way you can make a difference in the lives of those living with mental health conditions and those that support them. Consider voting for candidates who highlight improving mental health in their platforms. You can also get in touch with your local government officials and encouraging them to officially recognize national mental health awareness events or pass legislation that will provide better access to care.
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