Join the World Mental Health Day 2015 Movement #IAmStigmaFree

Did you know that approximately 1 in 4 people live with a mental illness worldwide? And that simply by learning and talking more about mental health you could help millions of people around the world? This is the message behind this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW, October 5th-11th), which also encompasses this Saturday’s World Mental Health Day (WMHD, October 10th).

Each year, MHAW presents the World Federation for Mental Health’s theme of the year, this year its ‘Dignity in Mental Health.’ To help make dignity in mental health a reality, together we can ensure that mental health problems are better understood, and importantly, are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!

So how can you get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day?

Social Media

The hashtags described below, #MHAW15 and #IAmStigmaFree, can be used to help share fundamental facts and your experiences with mental health on social media so that together we can take the world one step closer to being mental health stigma free!

Use #MHAW15 to not only spread the word, but to enter a competition to win great daily prizes if you:

1. Share a random act of kindness
2. Nominate a friend of family member as a giver
3. Let everyone know how you are celebrating World Mental Health Week, or what mental health awareness means to you.

#IAmStigmaFree has been popular since May, following the release of a video of more than 40 celebs, from Pamela Anderson to Mekhi Phifer, in partnership with Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement to start a conversation around being open and honest about mental health. Now, it is cooking up one heck of a twitterstorm representing the ‘Dignity in Mental Health’ theme of the year.


The Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day is recognized in over 150 countries! You can find out about local events simply by searching with the above hashtags on social media, or even start your own event!

There is a fantastic list of events on official pages for New Zealand and Australia. In the UK, the British Psychological Society is hosting free events. Time to Change also has a searchable map to find events near you. In the US there is no central database of events, however searching in your state will let you know what is on. Can’t find anything? Start your own event using the report below for ideas.

The Dignity in Mental Health Report

The World Federation for Mental Health has put together a fantastic campaign report filled with great ideas and actionable advice. This includes how to help support someone experiencing a crisis of mental health, fun mental health education interventions for schools and further advice on many of the fantastic movements that are really making a difference – even planting sunflowers as a symbol of mental health hope solidarity!


By donating to organizations advocating mental health awareness you can help them help others live a mental health stigma free life.

Carla Clark, PhD

Carla Clark, PhD, is BrainBlogger's Lead Editor and Psychology and Psychiatry Section Editor. A scientific consultant, writer, and researcher in a variety of fields including psychology and neuropsychology, as well as biotechnology, molecular biology, and biophysical chemistry, you can follow her on Facebook or Twitter @GeekReports
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