Since 1949, National Mental Health Awareness Month (also known as Mental Health Month) has been observed in the month of May. During this month, organizations working to create awareness around mental health spread the word about mental health through word of mouth, the media, local events, and more.
One in five U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and nearly everyone is impacted by mental illness affecting those they are close to. This month is a key time of year for organizations that take action on mental health issues in both local communities and on a national level to gather support and awareness.
Here are some ways that local and national organizations dedicated to helping those with mental illnesses can use this month as an opportunity to gain awareness of their organization:
- Use hashtags to reach out to those who are interested in your cause on social media. For Mental Health Month, use #BH365 (Behavioral Health 365) and #MHM2017 (Mental Health Month 2017) or #MentalHealthMonth. Tagging posts and photos will connect you to like-minded people who may be interested in donating to your organization or attending your next event!
- Create content that will both interest and help readers. As the experts on mental health, no organization is in a better place to advise on ways to approach someone with a mental illness or recognize warning signs than you. Use your expertise to create content that will be helpful to anyone in need of information as well as attract viewers to your website!
- Reach out to local news or media and offer/ask to participate in an interview. This will allow you to spread word about the importance of your organization’s work in the realm of mental health to a broad audience. You can also use this opportunity to put a plug in for your next/upcoming event!
- Encourage your staff and volunteers to share personal stories related to mental illness. At Gesture, we hear too often from organizations that one of the largest challenges they face is the stigma against mental illness and receiving help for it. If your staff and volunteer members feel comfortable, ask them to share with their friends, family, and/or followers why they’re dedicated to the cause.
Gesture makes it easier for organizations to focus on their important work in communities instead of focusing on fundraising logistics.
One organization we work with is Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri, based in St. Louis, MO. A long-time partner, they say:
“Thank you for all the work you did in preparing us for our first-ever bidding by phone event. It was a true partnership and your team at Gesture was top-notch.
We are a small agency – full staff of nine – and knew we needed professional help to make the event run smoothly, especially for check-in and check-out. Gesture was, in a word, fantastic. Check-in was super smooth and check-out was a dream, even with guests trying to make a quick escape due to an unexpected snow fall.
The auction itself was a very nice success and our guests loved bidding by phone. Time and time again we heard, “it’s so easy and fun to bid.” It truly is easy and your staff was very attentive to those who needed bidding assistance. You kept telling us not to worry because it’s such a simple process and, of course, you were right.
We don’t want to do another gala without you.”
Thanks to Gesture’s easy-to-use product, Mental Health America is able to focus on their guests at events, and worry less about registration, check-in and check-out, bidding, and product help.
See more about Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri here.
If you are passionate about the missions of Mental Health America and like organizations, Gesture encourages you to reach out to local organizations and donate to their cause! Tell them Gesture sent you.