Updated: Jan 5
Welcome everybody to the first entry of The Rainbow We Fly Over! This series will acknowledge the many-colored ribbons dedicated to mental health awareness. I cannot wait to see what this turns into!
Again, thank you all who have continuously read, especially with everything going on. I truly value everyone that takes the time out to read my entries! Every reader is greatly appreciated, and there is more to come!
Last month was May, which is also known as Mental Health Awareness Month with the corresponding lime green ribbon. The month of May became the home of mental health awareness in the year 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (previously known as the National Association for Mental Health). This month is usually filled with events, workshops, screenings, and more to simply promote the importance of mental health. And, every year Mental Health America releases a toolkit to guide people in the direction of beneficial mental hygiene. This month’s awareness about mental health is so important because, without mental hygiene, we are left without ways to cope with overall stressors. Not only that, but we also allow the signs of internal battles and possible mental illness symptoms to fly by unnoticed causing more harm than good. Yet, with this month of May, we can get those necessary tips and resources that can guide us in our journey of self-discovery and improvement. Though this month has now passed, we should still advocate to fight the stigma, have open conversations, do regular psychological check-ups, and spread the message that mental health is important. I understand that the month of May intensively focuses on the topic of mental health for that month, but mental health concerns continue all year long. We need to take what we learn throughout the course of May and utilize those skills, tips, and resources to not only better ourselves but also those around us.
Yet, it does not stop there. As our society is based on whiteness and capitalism, people of color often have a different lifestyle compared to their white counterparts. With that being said, we as people of color and Black (because they often are not as synonymous as you think), may need resources and tips specifically focused on our specific struggle. Especially with the current climate of our world, the mental well-being of our people has been blatantly targeted like no other with tragedy back to back. It is important to ensure that in our fight for liberation, we are also taking the necessary steps to protect our essence. With that being said, there is also a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month that is in July! More to come on that month soon!
I have linked a few resources I highly recommend to either spread awareness, expand knowledge, or initiate conversations. I hope you all enjoy them!
Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month: https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month
Full 2020 Mental Health Toolkit 2020: https://mhanational.org/sites/default/files/Full%202020%20May%20Is%20Mental%20Health%20Month%20Toolkit.pdf
Mental Health America’s Screening Tools: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Therapy For Black Girls: https://therapyforblackgirls.com/
Black Girl + Mental Health: https://blackgirlmentalhealth.tumblr.com/
Ourselves, Black: https://ourselvesblack.com/
The Siwe Project: http://www.thesiweproject.org/