Since 2008, July has been designated as Minority Mental Health Month to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States (US).
While the term ‘minority’ is traditionally associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural minorities within the US, Mental Health America (MHA) is focused on expanding this term to include individuals from a wide-range of marginalized and underserved communities, including those who may identify as part of the the LGBTQ+ spectrum, refugee and immigrant groups, religious groups, and others who are often overlooked.
By making this term more inclusive, we are broadening our way of thinking and underscoring the need to address mental health issues with a unique lens while integrating the varied needs of diverse communities. Through our efforts, we aim to shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within these communities.
“In the state of Kentucky, nearly half of people who experience a mental illness never receive treatment. There have to be everyday experiences we aren’t hearing about at the mental health table,” says Marcie Timmerman, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Kentucky. “At MHA Kentucky, we want you to tell your stories.”
Across social media, individuals will share their stories using #MyStoryMyWay to shed light on the way that diverse communities perceive, narrate, communicate, and address mental health and mental illness.
Throughout the month of July, we are asking you to create and share content (a video, a series of videos, a poem, notes, or even GIFs) responding to the Guiding Questions provided below. These questions were developed to help you think about your experience and your story. We ask that you use these questions as prompts as you develop and share content.
Help us and others understand your lived experience(s) and how we can all do better to address mental health and mental illness in our communities.
What are the most important parts of your identity?
What keeps you (or kept you) from talking about your experience?
If and when you were struggling, how did you know you something wasn’t right
How did those around you respond?
What do you do to take care of yourself?
What would you tell others who may share your experience?
To allow individuals the freedom to feel comfortable in sharing their stories without disclosing their identity, we welcome anonymous submissions.
If you are interested in sharing content anonymously, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject noted as “MMHM Submission.”
We will use your submitted content and develop social media posts without noting your identity.
What information should I share in my post?
Let people know your background so that we can learn about the various experiences and lives of the people that are part of our community.
Feel free to tell us and others as little or as much as you want to share. We provided the 5 questions to help guide your thoughts. We will be pulling from social media throughout the month to highlight different stories.
How do I know if my story is worth sharing?
Each person and each story is important. During #MinorityMentalHealth Month, we want to ensure that the voices of people who are oftentimes deemed as “other” or “not important” are brought into the limelight. Tell us your story so that others who may be struggling know that there are people out there who may share their experience.
What do I need to know if I am going to record a video?
We ask that you keep your video to 2 minutes max. We know that can be hard to do, so think about sharing videos throughout the month by using 1 question per week.
We don’t need professional videos, but we do ask that you shoot your video in landscape mode. Be sure that you are in a quiet place with good lighting, so your voice is clear, and we can see your face.
Hashtags to Use on Social Media:
Make sure MHA Kentucky sees your content:
Twitter: @mhakentucky Facebook: www.facebook.com/MHAKentucky Instagram: @mhaofky
We were honored with #MyStoryMyWay testimony by some of our partners and their experiences: