#InThisTogether: Staying Connected During a Socially Distanced Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of mental health conditions, reduce stigma and offer support for people living with mental illness. With surveys showing the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to a dramatic rise in stress levels and mental health impacts,1 this Mental Health Awareness Month may be more important than ever.

As the only global biopharmaceutical company solely focused on the brain, Lundbeck has long been committed to meeting the needs of people impacted by mental health disorders. This Mental Health Awareness Month, we are redoubling our efforts to support our patient communities. As part of our awareness month activities, we reached out to several mental health organizations for tips on how we can connect and support people from afar. We also gathered messages of hope from leading voices in mental health advocacy, because in the midst of this uncertain time, it’s important to remember that we are all in this together. 

“DBSA wants you and your family to know that you’re not alone. Through our new COVID-19 Response Portal, we are bringing you new mental health wellness tools, coping tips and inspiring stories from people across the country. Drop in often for podcasts, profiles and special resources we’ve gathered just for you.”
— Michael Pollock, Chief Executive Officer, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance(DBSA)

Depression and Bipolar Support Association Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
To support people during the COVID-19 outbreak, DBSA has added more online support groups to ease loneliness and anxiety, doubling the number of virtual support groups that people can join from anywhere in the country, and hundreds of local groups are meeting online, too. Visit dbsalliance.org to learn more.

DBSA also encourages people to use the Wellness Wheel, an easy-to-use tool that provides a complete picture of the progress made on a person’s wellness journey. As each person creates their own wheel, they will see their strengths in perspective and discover ways to move toward the life they want to live. Learn more here

“This Mental Health Awareness Month, we invite you to take part in our “You Care, Help Share” campaign to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. You can make a positive difference in the lives of those living with mental health conditions by sharing messages of hope—they need it now more than ever.”
— Valerie Cordero, Co-Executive Director, Families for Depression Awareness

FFDA Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
This May, Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA) is encouraging people to participate in the 2020 #YouCareHelpShare social media campaign. Through storytelling, inspirational messages and videos, the campaign uses collective voices to advocate for families experiencing the everyday challenges of living with a mental health condition. You can share your stories about mental health and caregiving on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #YouCareHelpShare. Learn more at familyaware.org.

This pandemic has affected us all in ways we never anticipated. The good news, though, is that when the problem is isolation and loneliness, we can all do something about that. All we need to do is make connections. So the more that we can reach out to people, the more that we can use the virtual tools at our disposal, to connect with people, to interact with them, to listen to them, to hear their concerns, to share ours with them, the healthier we all will be.”
— Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, Mental Health America

Mental Health America Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
All through May (and beyond), Mental Health America is offering virtual support and educational webinars around managing mental health during the COVID-9 pandemic. Webinar topics include Peer, Friend, and Self-Support in the COVID-19 Crisis: How to Provide Support for Ourselves and Others Through Times of Fear and Isolation. Other topics include Practicing Self-Compassion, Older Adults and Isolation During COVID-19, and Wellness Routines for Uncertain Times. The recordings and upcoming webinars are available here

“One of my biggest suggestions for making it through this difficult and uncertain time is making a plan. That can sound a lot easier than done because so many plans are being changed or cancelled. But making a plan with your healthcare providers can make you feel more in control of what’s going on. Another thing is to just stay connected. Reach out to your friends and family. Just because we have to be physically apart during this time doesn’t mean we need to be emotionally isolated.”
— Jessica Edwards, Director, External Relations, Strategic Alliances & Development, NAMI

NAMI Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
During Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI invites people to watch a series of short videos featuring NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth. In the videos, Dr. Duckworth discusses coping with a mental health condition during COVID-19, anxiety and Covid-19 and teletherapy during COVID-19. Watch the videos on NAMI’s Instagram channel here

"Now more than ever, Mental Health Awareness Month matters to our nation. Our mental health and well-being are challenged by isolation, struggles balancing work and home life, and managing high levels of stress and uncertainty.  We relaunched Right Direction with the central theme that you are not alone! Knowing the warning signs of depression and getting help when needed are essential. Support is available in your community, so reach out and we'll get through this together."
Darcy Gruttadaro, Director, Center for Workplace Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association Foundation

Right Direction Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
Right Direction is a free initiative designed to provide employers with tools and actionable strategies to raise awareness about depression and to improve workplace mental health for a healthier, more engaged and productive workplace. The program features customizable resources and materials to increase awareness, reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking behaviors. Right Direction is an effort of Employers Health Coalition and the Center for Workplace Mental Health (a program of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation). Lundbeck and Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA are founding financial supporters.

The Right Direction website was refreshed and relaunched this Mental Health Awareness Month with new resources, including tips for self-care while working remotely during COVID-19. 

AFSP Mental Health Awareness Month Virtual Activities
In honor of Mental health Awareness Month, AFSP is expanding its #RealConvo campaign with more digital tools and creative ways to educate and inspire people to feel comfortable talking about mental health if they are struggling. Tips for starting real conversations and other resources are available at https://afsp.org/realconvoAFSP also invites people to join its virtual events, including: A #RealConvo Twitter chat hosted by @afspnational on May 13 at 2 p.m. EST. All Awareness Month events are listed are free and open to the public. See the full listing of May events here


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