Friends, colleagues, and community,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness month is a month that may mean different things to each of us. It can be an opportunity for learning and growth, as we inform ourselves about mental health conditions and what it means to live with one.  It can also be a time to reflect and discover ways we can better care for our own mental health. How ever you choose to honor this month, whether it’s seeking mental health support, showing up for a loved one, or raising awareness, we hope that this will be a fruitful time of reflection, support, learning, and connection.

Here at the SPIRIT Lab, we are committed to providing information about psychosis and improving the standard of care for those who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness. We know that psychotic experiences are common and can cause significant distress or impairment.  We also know that psychosis is understandable, modifiable, and treatable. On our website, you can learn more about:

  • Psychosis
  • How psychosis is treated
  • Where you or a loved one can access care
  • Resources you can access immediately to learn more about psychosis
  • Upcoming events hosted by our lab

Mental Health Awareness Month is a global initiative and many different professional organizations have developed programs and resources to further the conversation around destigmatizing and improving treatment for mental health. We welcome you to review the list of organizations below to learn more about these important efforts and ways you can be involved:

  • Active Minds
    • Promoting the #HereForYou campaign by encouraging individuals to take the Here for You pledge to 1) actively listen when someone is struggling; 2) model kindness, trust, and vulnerability; 3) learn about mental health resources available in the community; and 4) commit to continuing the conversation
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    • Promoting #MentalHealth4All campaign, which encourages everyone to get involved by taking one simple action to encourage friends, family, and community to take mental health seriously
  • The Jed Foundation
  • Mental Health America
    • Promoting the #Tools2Thrive campaign, providing practical tools everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency
  • Mental Health Coalition
  • NAMI
    • Promoting the You Are Not Alone (#NotAlone) campaign, which focuses on the power of connection for those affected by mental illness
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • SAMSHA
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center
  • The Trevor Project
    • Releasing its third annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health in mid-May, featuring brand new data around the impacts of COVID-19, mental health care disparities, discrimination, food insecurity, conversion therapy, and more. Trevor will share a social media toolkit prior to the release.
  • Other Activities
    • ViacomCBS is also bringing together 200+ leading brands, nonprofits, and cultural leaders for the first national Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 18th. The goal of Mental Health Action Day is to drive our culture from awareness to action by equipping folks with tangible tools that will help us all take an action for ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. If you haven’t already, there is still time for your organization to become a partner of this important initiative (click here to learn more).

We hope these resources help foster important discussions in your own life about how to support a happier, healthier, and more just future for people whose lives have been affected by mental illness. If you or someone you care about is struggling, it is never too late to reach out and find support. We are happy to help however we can – feel free to reach out to us at uwspiritlab@uw.edu.

Sincerely,

The University of Washington SPIRIT Lab

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