7 Days, 7 Ways to Make a Difference During Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year, during the first week of October, we join NAMI and other mental health organizations and agencies, and individuals and families working to improve mental health care and services for our loved ones and communities for Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 1-7, 2023). During the week—and on World Mental Health Day October 10—we join fellow advocates in working together on efforts and activities to educate the public about mental health conditions and what we can do to manage their impacts on all of us. We come together as one unified voice. This year’s Mental Illness Awareness Month focus: “Together We Care. Together We Share.” Here are seven ways you can help us make a difference.

Take action.
Be an advocate! Sign petitions for NAMI National and NAMI California. Let your local representatives know that mental health policies are important to you. Find more on our Take action page.

Start conversations.
Have stigma-busting conversations about mental health. Concerned about a loved one’s mental health? Don’t hesitate to talk about it—and also be open about your own mental health. When we share our experiences, it helps others feel less alone and can motivate them to also open up and get help for themselves or others. Get tips from our youth guide; our parents guide; our Say This (Not That) guide; and our talking about suicide guide. Also, find out about NAMI’s Stiga-Free campaign and take the pledge.

Learn more about mental health.
Take a free NAMI class for individuals living with mental health conditions or family members and loved ones. Learn about mental health conditions, warning signs, and suicide prevention. Listen to NAMI’s podcast; watch replays of our Janis Black Warner Speaker Series events.

Share your insights.
Sharing our stories can help others feel less alone and encourage them to speak up and seek the support they need. Answer our community voices questions or submit a story for consideration.

Engage with our community.
Attend our Janis Black Warner Speaker Series monthly events and find out about other community events (on social media, in our newsletter, on our website.). We also have Peer Game Nights for individuals living with mental health conditions.

Take care of yourself.
Get ideas from our self-care and self-compassion guides. We also have several support groups, for individuals living with mental health conditions and for family members.

Stay informed.
Follow us on social media FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and sign up for our newsletter!

Bonus: If you’re student, educator or parent, request an Ending the Silence presentation for your school! Make sure your membership is current! Not a member? Join!