10. Learn about specific mental health diagnoses.
“I think it’s vital that [medical] professionals [in particular] are not afraid of certain diagnoses and are willing to learn when they don’t understand something.” — Andee
11. Foster a culture that allows men to feel comfortable with asking for help.
“Men [in particular] are taught from the youngest of ages that seeking help is a sign of weakness. I jokingly say that most men would rather be lost than ask for directions. We have to change that! We need to create a dynamic in which help-seeking is OK and viewed as a signal of greater strength.” — Casey
12. Don’t be afraid to disclose your mental illness.
“Don’t be afraid to tell other people you have a mental illness because if you are ashamed of it, then other people [may] also see it as shameful.” — Katie
13. Don’t joke about mental illness.
“I think something a lot of people don’t consider is being careful with the jokes they make. For example, [when] someone has a really bad day and says, “I want to die” as a joke. Things like that can make it difficult for someone [who is actually struggling with their mental health] to come forward because they might feel like they won’t be taken seriously.” — Abbey
14. Change the way you think about mental health.
“Hanging onto your [misconceptions about mental illness may] only showcase your mental well-being. Help yourself mend those thoughts, and you [may] be surprised as to how many people you can help.” — Vaishnavi
15. Acknowledge that illness is illness.
“Acknowledge that illness is illness, whether it is mental or physical.” — Maria
16. Don’t be afraid to go to therapy.
“As someone who goes to therapy, I think more people shouldn’t be so afraid to go to therapy. It doesn’t mean you’re ‘crazy.’ It means you want to be a better person and have a grasp on yourself [and] your life. I think one of the biggest stigmas is ‘therapy’ equals ‘crazy,’ and it’s quite the opposite.” — Lexi
17. Be open and honest about your mental health.
“I think that one important step to ‘breaking the cycle’ of mental health stigmas is by being completely open and honest with those around us about our illnesses and struggles. By doing this, we [can] humanize the illness and put real faces to the diagnoses.” — Megan
“Share your personal experiences with mental illness. Openly, unapologetically sharing your mental health story can spark a chain reaction, allowing others to feel comfortable with disclosing their mental illnesses as well. Your story may soon become a dialogue, then can transform into a conversation, which could effectively end the silence surrounding mental illness.” — Kelly
“Open up about mental health, and you’ll be amazed [by] how many others [may] open up, too.” — Rhiannon
18. Recognize that it takes a village to spread mental health awareness.
“[Know that] advocates can only do so much. It’s up to everyone else to take the wheel and help us [spread awareness]. [Raising mental health awareness] takes a village.” — Juliana
Written by: Kelly Douglas Originally appeared on: The Mighty Republished with permission.