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Why you should check up on your friends this Mental Health Awareness Week

Image: instagram.com/colormehapii

October 4-10 is Mental Health Awareness Week, which is the perfect opportunity to reach out to your besties. Mental health is not always visible to the outside world, and it can be *so* easy to miss when someone that you care about is struggling. The events of 2020 have been stressful for everyone—take time this week to focus on our friends' (and our own!) mental health.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

💚Reaching out saves lives #SuicidePrevention . 💚There are so many ways to reach out to someone - often people find “how are you” quite confronting / too direct if they’re struggling. It’s hard to know where to start, especially when rapport hasn’t been built / they don’t know how open you are to a deeper conversation . 💚This post shares 50 ways to reach out - we hope this gives you many ideas! Some are a bit more direct, some just open the door to an interaction, some are playful, while others serve to remind someone you’re thinking of them . 💚It is so important to reach out to your loved ones - especially during these times . 👇Comment below: How will you reach out? What are some others ways to reach out? . 💫Follow @realdepressionproject for more . . . . . . . . #suicidepreventionmonth #suicideprevention #breakthestigma #endthestigma #depressionsupport #endstigma #stigma #stigmafree #stopthestigma #depression #mentalhealth #bipolar #ptsd #mentalhealthsupport #cptsd #trauma #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawaresness #anxiety #anxietysupport #anxietyrelief #anxietyawareness #depressionawareness #mentalillness #itsokaynottobeokay #mentalillnessawareness #reachout #itsokaytonotbeokay #itsoktonotbeok

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Let's be real: reaching out can be awkward, but it doesn't have to be. Letting your friends know that you're here for them can be as simple as sending them a funny TikTok or new song to bop too. We are currently loving @realdepressionproject's tips to start a conversation without actually having to ask the dreaded "how are you?" question. The smallest things often have the biggest impact—and it's as simple as letting your friend know that they are not alone.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Drop three 💚💚💚 if you can relate . 💚We made this to highlight why it isn’t just as simple as saying people should just “reach out” - there are a lot of reasons why someone may not such as those listed . 💚This is why you should always check in on your loved ones, don’t judge their struggle harshly, provide a “safe space” to talk openly without time constraints, reassure them you’re there for them, and listen to understand their experience before giving advice . 💚Of course, if you are suffering in silence please reach out - we always promote this too as it’s an essential step to getting better. We hope you are embraced when you do 🙏 . 👇Comment below: what are some other reasons why those with a mental illness don’t reach out? . . . . . . . . #mentalillness #stigma #mentalillnessawareness #stigmafree #endthestigma #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #depressionawareness #depression #anxiety #anxietyawareness #depressionisreal #anxietyisreal #ptsd #trauma #cptsd #ptsdawareness #suicideprevention #mentalhealthsupport #nostigma #mentalillnessisreal #mentalhealthsupport #itsokaynottobeokay #itsokaytonotbeokay #itsoktonotbeok #itsoknottobeok #suicideprevention #depressionsupport #anxietysupport #bekind #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthisimportant

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Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression aren't uncommon, but of the 40 million Americans who struggle with anxiety, only 36.9% actually seek the treatment that they need. People can avoid getting the treatment for a multitude of reasons including fear of judgment, lack of knowledge and denial of their symptoms. By openly talking about mental health this week (and every week!) you can help to #BreakTheStigma around mental health. 

Words are *so* powerful, and it can be really easy to hurt someone who is struggling with a mental health condition without realizing or meaning to. Instead of accidentally invalidating their feelings with statements such as "you're overreacting" or "just relax", let your BFFs know that you're there for them no matter what with a simple "Let me know if you need to talk". 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Drop three 💚💚💚 if you have anxiety and wouldn’t like hearing these things . 💚Some of these comments are quite clearly mean, some are more subtle, but they all in some way either minimise / dismiss one’s anxiety and shame’s them for it . 💚Please be kind . 👇Comment below: What else shouldn’t you say to someone with anxiety? Which numbers are the worst for you to hear? . 💫Follow @realdepressionproject for more . . . . . . . #anxietysurvivor #negativethoughts #generalizedanxietydisorder #anxiousness #beatanxiety #anxietyrelief #anxietyhelp #anxietysupport #anxietyaid #fightanxiety #anxietyfighter #anxietysucks #anxietyawareness #anxietydisorder #anxietyproblems #anxietyprobs #anxietyfree #anxietyreducer #anxietyisreal #anxietyissues #breakthestigma #stigma #endthestigma #stopthestigma #stigmafree #stigmafighter #endstigma #bekind #itsokaynottobeokay #anxiety #anxietyisreal

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Think that you or a friend might be struggling with mental health? Get help here. 

Did you reach out to a friend this week? Tag us on Twitter @girlslifemag and let us know.

Slider Image: @wattpad/Pinterest

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by Abigail Adams and Alexandra Karr | 10/7/2020
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