- 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder
- Severe mental illness increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer
- Poor mental health can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration, changes in sleeping patterns, headaches, changes in appetite, and stomach aches
- TALK ABOUT IT! Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they are doing okay if you are worried about them! Speaking up about how you are feeling can be really scary, especially if you are not sure what you are feeling. Sometimes it is a lot easier for someone to open up if they don’t have to start the conversation. If you are not sure about what to say to someone or you do not understand what they are feeling, ASK.
- Phrases like “oh my gosh this assignment is so hard I’m gonna kill myself” –just say the assignment is hard because adding that last part is harmful to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. I once met someone who told a friend in class “I’m going to kill myself” and the friend responded, “me too this essay is the worst!” Except they were not joking. They survived, but if we hadn’t desensitized ourselves to that phrase it could have been avoided.
- When you see something sad on your social media feed don’t say “that was so sad I’m like so depressed right now.” That is not depression, that is just an emotion you are feeling that will pass. If you continue to feel sad for an extended period of time (and I mean more than just a bad week), tell someone.
- Stop saying you have OCD just because you like to organize some stuff. OCD is a serious mental health disorder and not something that should be talked about lightly.
- You may feel anxious about something, but that doesn’t mean you have anxiety. Anxiety is debilitating and real, stop making it seem less than what it is.
- Getting scared by something is not the same as having a panic attack. Panic attacks do not need to be triggered by something scary, they can come out of nowhere and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a half-hour.
- Let them talk as much as they need to
- Actively listen to them: acknowledge what they are saying and feeling
- Offer to help them find help
- Use open-ended questions
- Validate their feelings
- Remind them that they are not alone
- Cut them off
- Tell them you know how they are feeling
- Try to diagnose them
- Tell them how they should or shouldn’t be feeling
- “It could be worse” or “look on the bright side”
Thank you for your donations!
1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.
HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.
Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and foster responsible use of wilderness trails.
As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikes.
- 80% funds scientific research to understand and treat mental illness
- 20% conserves national wilderness trails
Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.
To learn more, visit hikeformentalhealth.org.
To join a hike click here.