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Mental health awareness

Mental health campaign is the awareness education of everyone about different aspects of mental illness and what it’s like living with a mental illness.

For our own community, these awareness can serve an additional purpose. They remind us that mental illnesses are very real and require real treatment. It’s also a reminder that we have to educate ourselves and our loved ones (supporters, caregivers) about these conditions so we can live the best lives possible.

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The term ‘mental distress’ is used to describe a range of mental health issues, from more common problems such as anxiety and depression. Educating the general public about mental illness or distress is important in this case. It makes people aware of these mental health conditions and, in turn, hopefully reduces stigma. It may also help someone recognize the warning signs of a mental illness they, or a loved one, have been experiencing; thus leading them to seek a professional diagnosis and treatment.

Some famous Mental health campaigners

Jonny Benjamin
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He is an award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger from London. In the Queen’s 2017 New Year Honors List, Jonny has been awarded an MBE for his services to mental health and suicide prevention.

At the age of 20 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar, and later began making films on YouTube about the condition that have since been watched by hundreds of thousands of people

Jonny now speaks publicly about living with mental illness and has written articles and given various interviews on TV, Radio and in print around the world to help educate and break stigma.

Karl Knights
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Karl, who studies English and American literature in the School of English, was recognised for using his own personal experiences and strong communication skills to bring openness to the issue of mental health.

Karl has already written on this topic for a wide range of national media outlets, such as The Huffington Post and the Guardian and works as a press ambassador for Mind, Student Minds, SANE and Time to Change and Rethink Mental Illness.

He has also been actively engaged in working with others at the university to further raise awareness on this issue and is in training to run the Brighton Marathon in 2018 and raise £1,000 for Mind.

Kristen Bell

Image result for Kristen Bell Mental health campaigner
She’s one of Hollywood’s leading funny ladies, but in her personal life, Bell has battled depression and anxiety — and she has no qualms talking about it. She penned her own essay on her experiences with mental health disorders for Motto, a platform from the editors of Time magazine. Her words made headlines across the globe, shattering the stigma about mental health and showing how mental illness can take many forms.

In her essay, Bell wrote: “There is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists. Anxiety and depression are impervious to accolades or achievements. Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain. In fact, there is a good chance you know someone who is struggling with it since nearly 20 percent of American adults face some form of mental illness in their lifetime. So why aren’t we talking about it?”

Hayden Panettiere
Image result for Hayden Panettiere Mental health campaigner
Panettiere became somewhat of a leading figure and unofficial spokeswoman for postpartum depression. Ten months after giving birth to her daughter Kaya, she came out publicly to seek in-patient treatment for her illness. When explaining her decision to speak publicly about her illness, she said to Self, “I was always so terrified that people weren’t going to accept me. I finally just went, I’m tired of living afraid. I’m tired of living in fear of what people are going to think, so, you know, I’m just going to put it all out there on the table and I’m not going to worry about the judgment.”

Demi Lovato

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The former Disney Channel actress, now world-famous pop singer, has struggled with mental illness from early childhood. She told Elle that by the age of 7 she had suicidal thoughts, and as a teen experienced eating disorders, self-harm, and drug abuse. Diagnosed now with bipolar disorder, Lovato has done everything except shy away from mental illness. She has sought treatment herself through rehab and is now the leader of Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health, an initiative “encouraging people across America to use their voice in support of mental health.”

Through her efforts, Lovato is helping fight against the stigma of mental illness. As a call of encouragement to those with mental illnesses, Lovato said on Be Vocal’s website: “If you are struggling today with a mental health condition, you may not be able to see it as clearly right away but please don’t give up — things can get better. You are worthy of more and there are people who can help. Asking for help is a sign of strength.”

> Juthy Saha

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