This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Here are 5 simple but effective ways you can raise awareness and change the lives of people affected by mental illness. No need to wait until October 4. Get started today!

  1. GET EDUCATED.
  2. BE STIGMA FREE.
    • Use person first language and encourage others to do the same. “He has bipolar disorder” not “He is bipolar.”
    • Get your green “Stamp Out Stigma” bracelet or a “Stigma Free” temporary tattoo at the NAMI Austin office.
    • Take the Stigma Free pledge.
  3. RAISE YOUR VOICE.
    • Tell your legislators to pass mental health reform this fall. Learn more about the current 2016 budget bills here.
    • Share your mental health story with others. Storytelling is a powerful way to end the stigma, and it gives others the courage to talk.
    • Forward this email to friends and tell people about NAMI Austin. Many don’t know about our free programming!
  4. BE A FRIEND.
    • Small acts of kindness show you care. A card, some flowers, a nice meal or a favorite book and your presence can be comforting and assuring. Click here for more ideas.
    • Reach out to people if they seem isolated, so they know they are not alone.
    • Offer to help with grocery shopping, driving, childcare or making appointments.
  5. SUPPORT FREE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMMING.

“This class overall was the single most, without a doubt, helpful and informative thing ever offered in all my years searching for answers.”

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