The Mental Health Awareness Project

The Mental Health Awareness Project, or MHAP, is a project that was established to help spread more awareness on mental illnesses and disorders, and mental health topics. It is a consistent and on-going awareness project that lasts throughout the year. During each month, we will inform and discuss a specific mental illness or disorder, or mental health-related topic.

The judgment, ignorance, and stigma surrounding these topics never rest, so why should we? We won’t stop talking about it until mental health becomes an acceptable conversation topic.

We deserve to be able to talk about our mental health so that we can get the care and treatment we need without worry of feeling judged or stigmatized. So many people suffer in silence for that very reason.

This will change.
 
 

No one chooses to have a mental illness

Someone who has experienced a depressive episode didn’t choose to feel that way.

Someone who has so much anxiety that they have a hard time functioning in social situations and everyday life doesn’t choose to carry the burden of worry on their shoulders.

Someone who has Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder doesn’t rationally choose to blow their life savings or lash out at their loved ones over something as minute as the arrangement of dishes in the dishwasher.

Someone who has suicidal ideations never chooses to think about ending their life in varying degrees of detail.

In other words, we did not choose to have our diagnosis. All that we can do is wake up every day, cope with it, and try to be the best versions of ourselves.

We should all feel like we can reach out for the help we need without the fear of being judged or dismissed. Adding that fear to any diagnosis is added anxiety that could potentially make the situation worse.
 

Think about this…

If the people who cast judgments would start using their energy to be understanding and encouraging rather than stigmatizing, it would go a long way in helping someone feel as though they can reach out for proper care and treatment. As a result, his or her diagnosis would be more manageable and he or she would be able to function more easily in their every day life.

It will even save a life.

Isn’t that what everyone wants?
 
 

Project Launch Date

The official launch date of The Mental Health Awareness Project is January 1, 2019.

All mental health advocates are encouraged and welcome to participate! If you want to get involved, all you have to do is write about the mental health topic that is in focus in a particular month while using our hashtag, #MHAP. We also ask that you Like, RT, and share any posts that interest you so that your own followers can see it, too.

If you want to get involved with the planning and organization of The Mental Health Awareness project, we are always accepting help in the following areas:

  • MHAP Blogger Squad
  • MHAP Twitter Squad
  • Twitter Chat Coordinator
  • Project Moderator

 

Mental Health Topic Line-Up

To view, share, and contribute to our Google Calendar, please visit the official calendar for The Mental Health Awareness Project.

A brief rundown of our topic line-up is below.
 

January 2019: Anxiety Awareness
February 2019: Eating Disorder Awareness
March 2019: Bipolar Disorder Awareness
April 2019: Autism Awareness
May 2019: Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness
June 2019: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness
July 2019: Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness
August 2019: Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder Awareness
September 2019: Suicide Awareness
October 2019: Depression Awareness
November 2019: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Awareness
December 2019: General Mental Health Awareness
December 1-7: Self-care
December 8-14: Stigma around medications; Alternatives to medications
December 15-21: Therapy and counseling
December 22-28: Closing and acknowledgements
 
 

Suggested Hashtags

#MHAP (Primary)
#MHBlogFam (MHAP Blogger Squad)
#KeepTalkingMH
#SickNotWeak
 
 

About: MHAP Blogger Squad

The Mental Health Awareness Project’s Blogger Squad is our group of bloggers who write a post about one or more of the mental health-related topics that we cover throughout the year. Ideally, the post will serve to inform so that we can help spread awareness on various mental health topics.

You don’t have to do anything specific to be considered a part of our Blogger Squad. If you’re a blogger who wants to write a mental health-related post as a part of this project, you’re already in.

We do prefer that you publish your post in the appropriate month that your chosen topic is being focused on, but ultimately, there are no restrictions because we would never ask you to refrain from publishing your post. The more we write about mental health, the better.
 
 

About: MHAP Twitter Squad

The Mental Health Awareness Project’s Twitter Squad consists of our amazing friends in the mental health community on Twitter. If you’re interested in being a part of our Twitter Squad, all you have to do is help us raise awareness of mental health topics on Twitter.

You can help us raise awareness by tweeting about the current month’s mental health-related topic and by commenting on, Liking, and retweeting others’ tweets to amplify our reach. To find tweets you can share, be sure to check out the suggested hashtags that we listed earlier in this post.
 
 

About: MHAP Twitter Chat Coordinators

Twitter chats are a great way to get conversations going. There is usually a main host of the chat and a given hashtag. Most Twitter chats involve questions from the host, and they encourage anyone to answer and participate by using the hashtag they provided.

Our goal is to host at least one Twitter chat per month to get people talking about mental health, though we will be doing our best to host more than one per month. The questions and information shared during each chat will be related to the current mental health topic that is being focused on that month.
 
 

About: MHAP Project Moderators

Our Project Moderators are our dedicated participants who do their best to keep our mental health-related conversations going. Whether they focus their time on a single topic or help all throughout the year, any help is welcome and extremely appreciated.

Ideally, we will have one Project Moderator per mental health-related topic, for a total of 11, but we certainly won’t restrict the number to 11. The more help we have, the better.

Our Project Topic Managers may help in various areas, such as:

  • Sharing blog and social media posts attached to our recommended hashtags
  • Help start conversations about the mental health topics we focus on each month
  • Help keep our conversations going
  • Encourage people to share their stories
  • Host Twitter chats
  • Participate in our Twitter chats

 

Want to get involved?

The year 2019 is the year that we will start conversations.
The year 2019 is the year that everyone will know they are not alone.
The year 2019 is the year that everyone will know they always have someone to talk to.
The year 2019 is the year we will stop suffering in silence.
The year 2019 is the year that we will stop feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and worthless.

With your help, the year 2019 is the year that the stigma on mental health will be a thing of the past.

One person can change an entire nation, and even the world. Just think about what we can do together.

All you have to do in order to participate is start your own conversations about mental health and use our suggested hashtags so that we can share the hell out of your posts. Thank you for advocating for mental health with us! You are making a difference and will be a part of our mission to change the world.

If you want to get involved with the planning and organization of The Mental Health Awareness project (in addition to participating), please get in touch with me using one of the following contact methods:

  • Either comment on this post,
  • fill out my contact form, or
  • email me at contact@navigatingdarkness.com

If you have a Facebook account, please feel welcome to join our Official Facebook group, whether you’re participating or taking part in the planning and organization of this project, or both.
 

Follow:
Nicole

My name is Nicole, and I’m very happy that you decided to stop by and visit my blog! I write about mental health, and I post the occasional product review. I’m most passionate about writing, mental health advocacy, and gaming. My husband and I live in the South with our five tabby cats and two parakeets. If you ever want to connect with me, please don’t hesitate to visit my Contact page.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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19 Comments

  1. September 10, 2018 / 1:15 PM

    This is wonderful!! I have two children with ADHD (one also has ODD and Anxiety). I am a huge advocate of awareness in the schools especially. I would love to be involved in any way possible and will definitely be posting. Thank you!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 10, 2018 / 1:49 PM

      Great! I’ll definitely let you know some details over the coming weeks. My son was also diagnosed with ADHD and ODD so I know exactly what you’re going through. But bless your soul for experiencing it from two little ones! I will be adding awareness days/weeks for ADD/ADHD and ODD to the official calendar within the next week or so, so I’ll do my best to let you know when it has been added.

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 10, 2018 / 1:49 PM

      Great <3 I'll be sending out more info later this week.

  2. Laura-Jayne Lines
    September 11, 2018 / 2:57 AM

    Count me in.
    My son has Autism, SPD and adhd and we’ve suffered a lot of stigma every day because people assume he’s naughty.
    Both my brothers took their own lives so I’m a huge advocate for suicide awareness and prevention.

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 11, 2018 / 11:34 AM

      I can relate to the stigma aspect of it. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and so his teachers in school always assume that he’s just a bad kid, when that’s not the case. It’s hard to not get mad about it.

      I’m really sorry for your losses. They’d be proud that you’re such a fierce advocate <3

  3. September 12, 2018 / 2:06 PM

    Interested in taking part, though I will say that my approach to mental health [and sickness in general] is radical compared to most. I teach from a metaphysical/psychological position and in essence aim to have those I speak with reach a recognition that EVERYTHING they experience is a decision in some capacity, which allows them to retain their power to decide differently, and thus relinquish thought structures which lead to mental illness, in its many forms.

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 12, 2018 / 4:51 PM

      I’m glad that you’ll be participating! And, while it may be radical to some, it doesn’t make it any less valid. Tbh I’d be really curious to read what you have to say on the matter. I look forward to your posts, Ryan!

  4. September 13, 2018 / 6:44 PM

    Another lovely idea Nicole! I’m sure I’ll participate in a few of the months. Thanks as always for your efforts to bring mental health bloggers together.

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 13, 2018 / 7:51 PM

      Thank you, Fiona! <3

  5. September 17, 2018 / 10:43 AM

    I am so excited for this project. This will bring awareness and help for many of us suffering. I have Asperger’s and it is hell a lot of days dealing with the mental aspects. Thank you for all you are do8ng!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:18 PM

      Same here! I couldn’t be anymore excited! I’m so glad you’ll be joining a long and participating. 🙂

  6. Christie
    September 17, 2018 / 4:38 PM

    This is such an amazing initiative, I have bipolar disorder and am a suicide loss survivor and often write about mental illness, trying to detach the stigma xx
    Thank you for writing about such an important issue x

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 17, 2018 / 11:19 PM

      I’m glad that we were able to connect! I enjoy finding people to connect with, especially if we have some things in common. I’d love to read some of your posts sometime!

  7. September 18, 2018 / 10:04 AM

    This is fantastic idea! I’ll sure be getting involved ☺️

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 18, 2018 / 11:35 AM

      Great! We’d love to have you participating. )

  8. October 7, 2018 / 10:09 PM

    I would be delighted to contribute!! My ex-husband has ADD and I raised our son, who had a severe case of ADHD and was diagnosed at age 3. I can contribute from the perspective of how he is dealing with it now as a young adult (after the tumultous teen years). My daughter has had depression and attempted suicide once. I also received a certificate as a mental health specialist, along with a BA in psychology. Count me in 🙂

    • Nicole
      Author
      October 7, 2018 / 10:17 PM

      That sounds fantastic! If you like, you can either start writing up something now, or you can wait, as the project won’t go live until January 1. Just let me know. 🙂

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