What to do for Mental Illness Awareness Week

It’s the beginning of Mental Illness Awareness Week! The Week (MIAW) was established by Congress in 1990, and this year, the theme for MIAW is “Changing Attitudes. Changing Lives.”

I’ve made some comments in the past about my frustration with these awareness weeks and the amount of strategically effective activity that goes on during them. And maybe I’ll have something to say later. But I make those cases only because I sincerely want these weeks like MIAW to have achieve their intentions.

Today, I just want to point out that National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has put out an Idea Book on how best to celebrate this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week (NAMI’s MIAW page is here). A majority of the ideas seem to have needed some prior planning. So, here’s an action we can all take that requires practically no preparation: mention the MIAW on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever your mode of social network may be. After all, it’s an awareness week. Why not make people aware of it?

There’s a quote by Rita Wilson, “Awareness is empowering.”  Now that we’re empowered with the awareness about Mental Illness Awareness Week, how about we empower others by telling them about it? According to Dr. Phil, “Awareness without action is worthless,” and we better listen to Dr. Phil. :)

Here are all the resources on NAMI’s web site for Mental Illness Awareness Week:

2010 Idea Book
Faith outreach during MIAW, including National Day of Prayer
2010 Gubernatorial Proclamation
Model Press Release
Model Op-Ed
Model Letter to the Editor
Web banner – English
Web banner – Spanish
Poster 8 1/2 by 11″ – English
Poster 8 1/2 by 11″ – Spanish
Stickers – Avery 5294 – English
Stickers – Avery 5294 – Spanish
Logo – circle English
Logo – circle Spanish
T-shirt transfer (reversed) English
T-shirt transfer (reversed) Spanish


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