May Mental Health Awareness

Since 1949, May has been a month that people from all over the world have come together in order to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental and behavioral health. In 2020, it’s safe to say that things are looking a little different.

If there is one benefit to COVID-19, we’d say that it’s the fact that people are open.

Yes, you heard that right! Here at Spectrum we believe that while every day may not be a “good day” there is always good to find!

And if that’s where you are- that’s okay. There’s help for you too.

If this were any other year, we’d be organizing walks and coming up with tips to open up the conversation surrounding mental health in the workplace. But the truth is, people are already listening! Now more than ever, we are being asked, “What is Mental Health?”

Circumstances have caused this year to look drastically different than years passed, so we thought maybe our approach should too! Rather than focusing on opening the conversation surrounding mental health, we thought maybe she would ask,

“How can we support the conversation?”

When we think about conversations, people often think of the words that we speak. But people speak many languages, and what you say with your body and behavior is just as important!

This May, how can you tell others that you support them other than just saying so?

Be observant.

People who have never had the experience of walking into a grocery store and feeling anxious are now beginning to understand what others feel when they say that they’re experiencing social anxiety. These people may be rushing through the aisles a little too harshly- and you can practically see the tunnel that they are looking through. Being aware of these people allows them to have the space to feel what they are feeling- and avoids any accidental conflict as a cause of heightened emotion.

Be understanding.

When we are observant of the people that surround us, it’s easier to understand what another person may be going through, and respond out of compassion. Instead of viewing this person in the aisle as rude and selfish, we are able to see a person that just may not have the same understanding that we do, and is new to this feeling of anxiety. We can see them, and give them the room that they need to breathe; maybe coupled with a helpful smile. It truly is the little things that go a long, long way!

We know that this is not a typical #endthestigmapost. But we believe these two simple, foundational acts are just as important!

When we are able to act with kindness and understanding, it makes the conversation surrounding mental health much easier to be had. When we are able to see what other people are in need of first, it makes them open to hearing what you have to say about mental health because it is applicable to them.

At the end of the day, a little bit of kindness can go a long way!