BringChange2Mind

September 22, 2010

Community Engagement: How You Can Change a Mind

You may have read my last posts and thought, “I can advocate for myself, I can make a change, but where do I begin?” When I finally reached the point where I felt comfortable enough to step it up a notch I started writing, but as I became more confident in my ability to advocate for myself and share my story I started to use different forms of media and community engagement. Here are some of my favorite ways to reach out to my community and make a change in the mental health world. Don’t feel like you need to do it all at once, or ever, but doing just one thing can be healing for yourself and others.

Spread the Word: Start sharing your story in a bigger way. Blogging, Video-Blogging, Tweeting, or just interacting on a mental heath related social networking site (check out our BC2M Facebook page) can really make an impact. You are not only allowing yourself freedom and honesty, but you are showing others that it is okay to talk about these things. There are some great health blogging websites and communities out there that can help you to spread your story and educate the community. Here are some of my favorites:

· WellSphere: http://www.wellsphere.com/health-blogger

· WEGO Health: http://www.wegohealth.com/

Language surrounding mental health and mental illness can easily become stigmatizing, even unintentionally so be careful about the words you use. For a great guide on language check out these “Quick Tips to Improve Mental Health Reporting” or visit BC2M’s “Watch Your Language” bullet on the “Be Involved” page.

Volunteer: Many mental health websites and organizations are seeking volunteers. My involvement and volunteering with BringChange2Mind has changed my life in so many positive ways. The ability to help an organization that I believe in, the opportunity to share my voice, and the privilege of working with volunteers that I now consider family is healing and empowering. There are so many things you can do as a volunteer whether it is spreading information about an organization, helping as a peer, or responding to emails or help requests. Here are a few organizations with volunteer pages:

· Active Minds often has amazing Internship Opportunities.

· The Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has a great page on Volunteer/Intern Opportunities as well as other ways to help.

· The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) often has volunteer positions in the regional offices in your area. Click this link to visit a map and find an affiliate in your area.

Take Action: It is important that you contact your state and national representatives to make sure that they are on the side of individuals struggling with mental health conditions. By taking action and contacting you representatives you can help organizations that you trust get the support they deserve as well as help change laws that may be harmful to the mental health community. Here are some great websites to help you take action:

These are just a few of the ways you can get involved in the growing movement to change the mental health world for the better. Don’t forget to visit BringChange2Mind’s great “Be Involved” page to learn more!

Next time: Empowerment: How my move from Acceptance to Advocacy has changed my life.

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5 Comments »

  1. Great article…Very well said….

    Comment by Penny Sherwood — September 22, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  2. […] Community engagement: How you can get involved […]

    Pingback by From Diagnosis to Empowerment « BringChange2Mind — September 23, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  3. As a health activist and a member of the WEGO Health community mentioned above I am thrilled to read this post and see the wonderful ways you are encouraging others to get involved. Sharing your voice does make a difference!

    I would also like to invite anyone reading to join in the Mental Health and Social Media Chat (#mhsm) that is held on Twitter on Tuesday evenings at 9pm Eastern. This is a weekly chat, I would love to see you there!

    Comment by Amy Kiel — September 23, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

    • Thanks for sharing, sounds like a wonderful and educational thing to attend. I will definitely try to check it out! -Linea

      Comment by BringChange2Mind — October 21, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  4. […] my mind since.  It’s something I think I can easily relate back to Linea’s last post Community Engagement: How You Can Change A Mind, as well as the point of this post.  Personally, I was quite impressed with what I had seen. […]

    Pingback by A funny thing happened on the way to Boston… « BringChange2Mind — September 26, 2010 @ 6:23 pm


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