Mental Health Backpack – Day 5
Self Care, Media, Stigma, & Being a Good Mental Health Ally
Information about how to be an ally to friends, take care of your own mental health, find information through social media and books, and address the stigma that sometimes accompanies struggling with mental health.
Visit this page for ideas for self care activities.
Visit this page for a list of meditation and mindfulness apps (note, while most apps have a free version, many also have subscriptions/paid options).
Many mental health professionals share advice on TikTok and other platforms. Not everything you see on those platforms is correct and helpful, but they can be a good way to learn about ways to improve your mental health.
Check for channels run by people who have a PhD in psychology, or who are a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or a psychiatrist.
https://www.instagram.com/namicommunicate/ (general mental health support)
https://www.instagram.com/trevorproject/ (LGBTQ+ Youth crisis and suicide prevention)
https://www.instagram.com/thelovelandfoundation/ (supporting communities of color, with an emphasis on black women)
https://www.instagram.com/jedfoundation/ (supporting high school and college students)
https://www.instagram.com/translifeline/ (supporting transgender individuals)
Young adult novels dealing with mental health:
You can check out physical books for free at your local library, or download the Libby app for free to check out audiobooks from your local library.
You are not defined by your mental health illness or the challenges you face with your mental health. Stigma regarding mental health can lead people to be reluctant to seek help, and can also make you feel more alone. It is important to combat stigma associated with mental health, both in yourself and others. You can find resources on for how to address mental health stigma here.
How can I help support the people I love?
Even if you are not experiencing difficulties with your own mental health, it is important to be an ally to those who are.
Educate yourself about signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions so that you can identify warning signs.
Listen with empathy and ask your friends and family how you can help if they are struggling.
Be mindful of your language (avoid stigmatizing terms like ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’).
Helping people with mental health disorders can be draining; it is important to take care of your own mental health as you support others (refer to the self care resources above).