Our mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices – factors that impact not only our interpersonal relationships, but society as a whole. Mental health issues are far from uncommon; one in four adults, nearly 58 million Americans, experience a diagnosable mental health disorder in any given year. Fortunately, organizations across the US are working to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and help those in need. Here’s a handful to check out:
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Adolescence and early adulthood is tumultuous time for most of us. But research has shown that some LGBTQ youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience violence in their lives and school environments, something that doubles their risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The Trevor Project – a national organization founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award-winning short film TREVOR – provides free, round-the-clock crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ individuals ages 13-24 across the US.

In our society, the stigma around mental illness can be more damaging to a person’s quality of life than the illness itself. That’s why some mental health organizations, such as CalMHSA, are making it their mission to remove the stigma and get people talking openly about these common disorders. CalMHSA pioneered the successful Speak Our Minds campaign to connect millions of Californians with the resources they need to understand mental illness, as well as help end the social stigma surrounding it.

What do Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Michelangelo all have in common? If you said creativity, you’re only half right — they also suffered from debilitating cases of anxiety and depression, as is the case with many creative, thoughtful visionaries. ADAA is the US’s premier resource for anxiety and depression-related mental health issues. In addition to giving detailed information on specific disorders, ADAA also offers help via a blog, podcasts, national support group database, and even recommendations on the best mental health apps to download on your smartphone.

NAMI is the US’s largest grassroots mental health organization, advocating access to mental health services, treatment, support, and research for the millions of Americans suffering from mental health disorders. And like CalMHSA, NAMI is also working hard to remove the social stigma attached to mental health – starting with young adults. NAMI’s OK2talk program creates a safe, moderated community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health issues. Readers are encouraged to share their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, or hope by submitting creative content like poetry, inspirational quotes, photos, and messages of support.

Although CPIR’s main objective is to serve as a central information repository for parents of children with disabilities, they also offer an impressive resource hub for children’s mental health issues across the gamut. CPIR directs parents to the best resources on everything from where to go if there’s an immediate crisis, to family coping strategies, to addressing mental health in schools.

Let’s continue the conversation and be a resource to those in need. What are some of the best resources you use to manage your own mental health?

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