Anyone can have mental health challenges, regardless of age, sex, race or economic status. In fact, 1 in 5 adult Riverside residents are affected by mental illness. While mental health challenges (and recovery from those issues) are common, people with a mental illness often experience judgment or unfair treatment.
That’s why the It’s Up to Us campaign was started. It’s our local effort to make Riverside a more supportive community where people can feel safe to reach out, and others know how to provide help when it’s needed. Whether you or someone you care about is living with a mental health challenge, we all have a reason to Speak Up. Now is your chance to Stand Up and become an advocate. It’s Up to Us, Riverside!
Here are some ways to help change our community:
- Treat people with mental illness with respect and dignity, just as you would anyone else.
- Language matters. Never refer to someone with mental illness as “crazy” or “loony.”
- Don’t allow mental illness to define a person. Say “someone experiencing schizophrenia” rather than “a schizophrenic.”
- Raise awareness about discriminatory or stigmatizing language in the media by sending a letter or email.
- Attend local events raising awareness about suicide prevention.
- Get involved, speak up and help inspire others to follow suit. Check out the volunteer page to join one of the many Riverside organizations in their efforts to fight discrimination.
- Encourage young people to use their creativity to develop videos about important topics, such as mental health and suicide prevention.
- Directing Change Student Video Contest: Create a 60-second video about preventing suicide or ending the silence of mental illness and compete to win cash prizes.
- Lime green has emerged as the national color for mental health awareness. Show your support by wearing a lime green ribbon and sharing why you care about mental health with others.
It’s Up to Us is part of California’s mental health movement, and partners with Take Action. Take Action is made up of millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health. Here are a few great tools from Take Action that you can use in your community:
- Start a conversation about mental health in your network. Not sure what to say or how to start the conversation? Check out this tip sheet about how to support the people you care about.
- There are so many ways to get involved in California’s mental health movement! Take a pledge for mental health, spread the word or share your story at: takeaction4mh.com.
Link Up with It’s Up to Us on YouTube. Watch and share campaign videos!