Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s More Than Just A Month!
Leaders, politicians, businesses, brands, companies from a range of unique backgrounds. These are just a few of the myriad of supporters who rallied together in aid of Mental Health Awareness Month this year, not only promoting but exclaiming the need for mindfulness on the topic of mental health. It was amazing. Beautiful even, to see so many people this year running campaigns for the cause. Widespread support in May gave people a completely different outlook on the month and what the true messages to be conveyed are; giving the nation a reason to view the month with seriousness.
Come June 1st however, the support stopped. Promotions ended. Campaigns ceased to exist and the talk of mental health left the air. It is as if the need for continuous awareness came to a standstill and what was an amazing month for sharing ideas became enclosed, boxed up and stored for next year. This appears to be a trend this year as similarly at the month of pride’s conclusion, logos featuring LGBTQ symbols were abruptly removed and stores began to remove any items associated with the month. Is this how the higher powers perceive these precious months, as a profitable advent?This progressive policy change is enticing for brands who are ostensibly joining the fights for LGBTQ rights and mental health awareness alike. “But I think the underlying message is that these brands are now feeling like it’s safe and less risky to do this,” says Jenn Grace, an LGBTQ business strategist. “The message it sends is ‘You weren’t important to us before when it was risky but now, only when it’s safe, we’re willing to put our neck out there and support this cause but only for your allocated month’. It could be that it’s the right thing to do all day long, but if it’s not making them money, they wouldn’t do it. Businesses are in business to make a profit,” she says.
“Over time, Pride month has become very profitable from a company’s perspective,” adds writer and blogger Witeck. Whether this is deemed positive is really with the LGBTQ community for debate. But based on the numbers, it’s clear this group is a profitable market. And profits are one thing corporations have always expressed pride in.
It’s time society stopped viewing months like Mental Health Awareness and Pride Month as trivial profit margins and more like annual events in dire need of support.
In doing such, not only will the months be taken more seriously by a wider variety of people, but it will also ensure that the messages conveyed are cemented in time and will be passed down through the generations teaching those of the future how to avoid the misconceptions and errors of the past.
Now I’m sure you’re sat there wondering what you can do to help support this cause, you have no control over those in higher power, right? In reading these blogs and spreading the messages within through word of mouth, you are ensuring the longevity of mental health awareness. It’s likely you won’t realise, but in doing something so simple as reading you’re helping what started as something people didn’t understand at all grow into a cause set to change the way we, as a society, act forever.