National Mental Health & Dignity Day
People in recovery from a mental illness have something they want you to
know. In recent years, much has been reported about mental illness from
psychiatrists, sociologists, therapists, and journalists. On the first Sunday in
May, a different perspective will be told. From New Hampshire to California,
and several states in between, people in recovery from mental illness will
make their voice heard, most of them for the first time. It began with an
offhand comment on social media about the fact that those who live with a
mental illness diagnosis do not speak up for themselves. That comment
sparked an awakening that has spread like a prairie fire among people in
recovery. It is time for those who intimately understand the issues of living
with a mental illness to speak their truth. May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
For this reason, the first Sunday in May was chosen for an unprecedented event: Mental Health and Dignity Day.
Mental Health & Dignity Day is meant to promote the dignity of every person and recognize that mental health is something we all have in common. Individuals who have experienced a mental health diagnosis will come together to celebrate the positives that come from experiencing wellness. This day is to demonstrate that we do have a voice and confirm that we are equal members of society.
Groups across the country will be holding events in their community on the same day. In 2014, Consumers/Peers in California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesotta, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia will be standing proud together.
In our first year, we were featured in 2 newsletters for NAMI of Kalamazoo: http://www.namikzoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/April-June-2014-NS.pdf and International Association of Peer Supporters: http://na4ps.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/04_enews_inaps.pdf
Below is our 2014 National Press Release, which can be found at this link: http://prn.to/1koWpse
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mental health activists in eight states are organizing to proclaim Sunday, May 4, 2014, National Mental Health and Dignity Day, as part of the annual celebration of Mental Health Month. Using social media and grassroots organizing, they are encouraging their peers around the country to organize events on this day, and asking City and State governments to recognize May 4 as an official day of observance.
They are coming together to speak out about such grave concerns as H.R. 3717 – the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013 – which would destroy initiatives that use evidence-based, voluntary, peer-run services and family supports to help people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses to recover.
The idea started when a group of people in recovery from mental health conditions began talking about the need to raise their voices "to promote the dignity of every person and to continue the fight against the prejudice and discrimination associated with
mental health conditions," said one of the organizers. "This day is to demonstrate that we have a voice and that we are equal members of society."
Events are confirmed in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia. They include a March for Mental Health and Dignity in Orange County, Calif.; an event on the steps of the state capitol inLansing, Mich.; and a showing in Philadelphia of the documentary Of Two Minds, followed by a panel discussion.
"Society has defined people with mental health diagnoses in ways that do not represent who we are," a group member declared. "We aim to fight for equality...the right to choose our own paths to recovery, the right to be architects of our own destiny, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect!"
About one in four adults experiences a mental health disorder in a given year. "This is a public health issue," said another member of
the group. "We need to educate the public that people can and do recover."
To find out more, visit http://www.mentalhealthdignityday.org, and consider contributing to their fundraising campaign. Mental Health and Dignity Day is now a national partner with Creating Community Solutions, which is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the White House as a part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health.
SOURCE National Mental
Health & Dignity Day