Updated: Jan 26
Since 1992, World Mental Health Day has been honored each year on October 10. The past 10 months have highlighted the crucial importance of maintaining our mental health and seeking out resources when we're feeling sad, lost, hopeless, or worse.
The year 2020 has seriously tested the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of millions across the world. Globally, we're still grappling with a widespread, deadly pandemic due to COVID-19, hundreds of thousands have lost their lives and their loved ones often aren't able to be with them in their final moments, economies have been hard hit causing millions to lose their jobs, mounting racial injustices have caused individuals, communities, businesses, and countries to reflect on their failings, political division has led to dangerous power plays - and we still have over two months to go.
The lives we used to live are now fond memories we fear we'll never get back. Having Zoom work calls isn't the same as gossiping in the office over lunch, video chats with our friends will never replace meeting for brunch, and many of the social event escapes we were planning on attending this year were all canceled or postponed. All of the things that used to distract us have left us stuck at home with nothing but our thoughts.
With social distancing rules and travel restrictions keeping us grounded and away from our love ones, it can feel like the entire world is going through the same struggles while feeling very alone at the same time.
Going through a global pandemic/racial injustice uprising/potential economic ruin/political division/isolation/uncertainty of the future without your mental health being affected is impossible. For many of us, we've lived our entire lives working, being social, and traveling as an escape or band-aid for facing the things that worry us.
But what happens when we can't escape our thoughts? How do we keep ourselves sane when the next news headline could send us into a panic? How can we plan for the future when we're afraid of what tomorrow holds?
World Mental Health Day is the perfect reminder to check in with ourselves and seek out mental health resources for the sadness, stress, anxiety, depression, or any other feelings that may have built up over these last few months.
The statistics of mental health highlight the need for widely accessible resources: 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.
- National Alliance on Mental Health
Mental Health Resources & Organizations
There are mental health organizations across the world that seek to destigmatize mental health and provide the resources needed to maintain healthy minds and save lives. Below are just a few resources that you can visit to find a therapist, gain an online community, or discover ways to care for your mental health:
National Alliance on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) began in 1979 and now has over 600 local affiliates and 48 state organizations in communities throughout the US. As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, they offer in-depth write-ups about the warning signs, symptoms, classifications, and treatment of mental illnesses, a directory of local mental health support, bilingual online, phone, and text support among other research and resources.
Visit their website for:
Mental Health Education
Online Discussion Groups
Local NAMI Mental Health Support by State
Frontline Wellness for Frontline Workers as a Partnership with #FirstRespondersFirst
Specialized Resources for Teens, Veterans, and inclusive of Identity & Cultural Dimensions
You can call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-6264 M-F, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET
or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741 for confidential, free crisis counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Therapy for Black Girls
Black communities have had a longstanding stigma surrounding addressing and seeking support for mental health. That's part of the reason why licensed psychologist and speaker Dr. Joy Harden Bradford began her Therapy for Black Girls podcast and now resource center. With remote mental health support being a vital way to connect and heal, Therapy for Black Girls offers many online communities, events, and webinars led by experts.
Visit their website for:
The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast: a weekly discussion that dives into mental health and self-care
The Yellow Couch Collective: an online community that offers virtual support and Q&As with experts
Local or Virtual Therapists Specializing in Supporting Black Women and Girls
Humen is a movement created to redefine mental health for men and remove any stigma men may feel about seeking support. Through his journey to unpack his own mental health, founder River Hawkins created this platform to increase the tools that men can use when faced with personal challenges. While the organization is based in the UK, they encourage men across the world to join their movement.
Visit their website for:
The HUMEN Space: an online (and previously in-person) weekly session for men to join, share, or just listen to feel less alone
The HUMEN Series: a series of films highlighting the personal mental health stories of men who were asked to answer 20 insightful questions
For teens today, the pressure of social media, online bullying, real-world issues, developmental changes, and more can result in emotionally charged challenges. After Ginny and Tom Neuckranz lost their teen daughter to depression, they started Erika's Lighthouse in her name to "get depression out of the dark". The nonprofit organization develops school programs tailored for teens to raise awareness of depression and give teens a safe space to address their feelings.
Visit their site for:
A Teen Toolbox with Mental Health Resources
Teen Empowerment Clubs for Young People to Connect
Classroom Programs for Educators
Resources for Parents to Support their Teens
LGBT National Help Center
The oldest organization of its type in the US, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Help Center was founded in 1996. They offer volunteer backed peer-support, community connections, and resources for people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They also maintain the largest collection of resources for the LGBTQ+ community in the US with over 15,000 local resources across the country.
Visit their site for:
National Specialized Support Hotlines for Adults, Teens, and Seniors
Online Peer Support Chat
Weekly Youth Support Chatrooms
Books, Movies, and Media to help understand the issues that the LGBTQ+ community faces
To find support no matter where you are in the world, Befrienders Worldwide offers confidential support if you're experiencing a mental health crisis and they've created a helpful app to find a help center near you, no matter where you're located.
For a quick but informative read on what is mental health, how to recognize when you may be in need of support, and tips on how to improve the way you're feeling visit DrugWatch's mental health page.
No matter who you are, you're going through a lot! Stay safe, allow yourself time to rest without feeling guilty, always listen to how you're feeling, and if needed, don't hesitate to seek out a friend, confidant, or mental health provider.