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May 14, 2021

What is Mental Health Action Day?

By
Vaughan Bagley, MTV Entertainment Group
What You'll Learn
Understanding the ProblemAll about the ActionAction Day Q&A

In partnership with more than 1000 brands, nonprofits, government agencies and cultural leaders, Hope Recovery & Healing is proud to be a founding partner in the first-ever Mental Health Action Day this Thursday, May 20th. On this day, we will encourage and empower people to take the next step for #MentalHealthAction. Go to MentalHealthActionDay.org to learn more and join our effort to shift from awareness to action on mental health.

Understanding the Problem

In the year since COVID-19 upended daily life, mental health struggles have skyrocketed, accelerating an already dire health crisis that some are calling a second pandemic. But help-seeking and action-taking for mental health has not kept pace.

WE, AS HUMAN BEINGS, need mass action. Media can use their platform, working together with experts, to educate the public about how to talk about and how to get help when it is needed, ultimately demonstrating that mental health is health. Often, the hardest action we can take on our mental health journey is the very first one—reaching out for the first time to a friend, walking into the first support group meeting, finding a therapist or calling a support line.

All too often, actions are lacking that meet the needs of our communities; we need to identify opportunities to build long-term resilience. It is time we all take care of our emotional wellbeing in the same way we tend to our physical health, before we reach a moment of crisis.

Despite being a lived experience for so many, collective action on mental health has been lacking compared to the way we’ve come together to address sexual assault and harassment or sexual identity in cultural conversations. It’s time to bring the same energy to change how we treat mental health in our culture, in our politics and in our policy. We have an opportunity to push the culture of mental health from awareness to action, inspiring people to take the first action to support themselves and others.

Mental Health Action Day will take place on May 20, during Mental Health Awareness Month, to drive the culture of mental health from awareness to action.


All about the Action

On Mental Health Action Day, organizations, brands, government agencies, and cultural leaders are coming together to put a spotlight on mental health action. Partner activation will take many forms -- from hosting panels to discuss personal mental health experiences and encouraging others to do the same to creating a dialogue with employees on what mental health resources are available.

Individual action looks different for everyone, Mental Health Action Day encourages people to do what feels right for them. Resources and tools will be made available for people to seek help in myriad of ways from starting a meditation practice, learning how to support a friend, or advocating for change at the school, local, state or federal level.

“From Covid-19 to economic struggles and the continuing fight for racial justice, the other half of the twin pandemic is the rise of our mental health challenges. This is a critical moment to shift our culture from mental health awareness to mental health action and MTV is proud to come together with diverse cross-sector leaders on this inaugural day to encourage and empower people to take action -- for themselves, for their loved ones or for the systemic changes needed to improve our social and emotional wellbeing."
- Erika Soto Lamb, Vice President of Social Impact Strategy at MTV Entertainment Group

As one of our 1000 partners, Hope Recovery and Healing has posted several articles that can help anyone, from employer to parent to peer. They have also posted events happening around Utah and Idaho sponsored by groups taking action for mental health awareness. Tools, tips, education, and first-person stories can inspire and engage action. You can make a difference in your personal sphere of influence. Post on your social media, check out your favorite stars' channels to what they're saying about mental health, and try to talk about mental health just like you'd talk about physical health.

Action Day Q&A

Q: What is Mental Health Action Day?

A: Mental Health Action Day is a day to take the first action to get mental health support— whether for yourself, your loved ones or for all by advocating for systemic changes to remove the stigma around mental health.

Q: When is Mental Health Action Day?

A: Mental Health Action Day will take place on May 20, 2021.

Q: What is happening on Mental Health Action Day?

A: A coalition of nonprofits, brands, government agencies and influential leaders are coming together for the first-ever Mental Health Action Day to drive our culture on mental health from awareness to action and provide the tangible tools we all need to take the first action for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community. You can expect to see actions from organizations and leaders nationwide aimed at supporting anyone and everyone in taking their first action to get help, from organizations reaching out to their employees with resources on how to support mental health to events featuring experts and activists focused on taking that first action toward getting help.

Q: Who created Mental Health Action Day and why? 

A: We created Mental Health Action Day to move people from awareness to action. We know that the pandemic has created new issues for millions and exacerbated challenges for millions more. However, many of these people don't know what tangible actions they can take for themselves or their loved ones. In a moment when the economy is beginning to re-open after a year of a one-in-a-generation pandemic, the global community of nonprofits, companies, government agencies, and influencers, need to support people in taking the first action for their mental health. No one brand or organization can do that alone – so MTV Entertainment Group has brought together more than 1000 organizations to put a spotlight on action taking.

Q: Who can participate in Mental Health Action Day?

A: Anyone can participate! Individuals, businesses, government agencies, and organizations can get involved by lifting up mental health resources, advocating for the need for more resources and access and inspiring people to take actions to support themselves and others. There’s always actions you can take to help yourself or support others. Join us at mentalhealthactionday.org to learn more.

Q: I’m already practicing to improve my mental health. How can I help others?

A: For those already in practice, it’s a day to help others through sharing your own experience in getting support or advocating for the need for more resources and access for others. You can help your family members or peers by sharing resources to find a therapist, join a peer support program or start a meditation practice.

There are lots of ways you can take action!


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