Hoyleton Supports Mental Health Advocacy and Awareness
By Adam Woehlke, Director of Clinical Services
This Sunday, October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and because of the pandemic, a lot of people are struggling with their mental health. In fact, even without the added anxieties of a global pandemic, 20-25% of the U.S. population is impacted by mental health each year. It’s as important as ever that we advocate for mental health because so many people are affected.
At Hoyleton, mental health advocacy is focused on reducing stigma. Building communication among our friends and family and educating people about mental health are two ways we help reduce stigma. The best thing you can do to help protect people who are experiencing mental illness is help build their network, which requires having people in your circle who can look past the stigma and empathize with what they’re experiencing.
The same way a community might rally around a child who has a physical sickness, bringing them food, encouragement and well wishes, we need to care for those affected by serious mental illness. What’s going to help people dealing with mental illness is having other people at the core of their recovery or treatment.
At Hoyleton, we are working to be a part of the networks so that we can better advocate and care for people with mental health struggles. We do this by going out into the community to meet clients where they are,serving both youth and their families to make sure that they have a care system in place to lift them up and provide unconditional support. And we make sure that our clients feel heard, feel cared for and are referred to the resources they need to thrive.
But mental health advocacy isn’t just reserved for organizations such as ours that have the resources to affect change on a wide scale. There are things people can do every day to advocate. It’s as simple as talking to the people around you, or asking your friends and family if they’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary, how they’re doing or if they need help. It can also look like getting involved with a group that is involved in mental health advocacy, whether it’s at Hoyleton or at your local church, school or other community center.
People affected by mental health are in need of supporters, advocates and friends. It’s on all of us to create safe spaces to have vulnerable and honest conversations, spread mental health awareness and make sure everyone feels cared for. We are doing what we can to enable people with mental illnesses to reach their fullest potential, and we hope you will join us in doing so.