Friday, 8 May 2015

Lifestyle - May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Rewind back to this time last year when I was in my final year of college. I had just handed in my dissertation on the Attitudes and Knowledge of students in my college to Mental Health and Mental Illness and was feeling disappointed by the predominately negative attitudes to mental illness among the student population.
I wanted to do something to lower the negative attitudes around the issue as some people seem to forget that we all have a mental health, and it it needs to be nourished and looked just as well - if not more - than the physical health, and it was then I got in touch with an Irish organisation called See Change. They are a national charity who work hard to raise awareness of mental illness as it is the belief that the more people know about the issue, the less frequent these negative attitudes and opinions will occur, and frustratingly enough, receive little funding whatsoever by the Irish government (because, like I've mentioned, Mental Illness is just not thought of as the same way as physical illness even though 1 in 4 people will suffer with a mental illness at some stage in their lives). They rely on volunteers completely, so I went along to their training day in Sligo which taught us how to start a conversation with people about mental health and openly discussing it.

May is Mental Health Awareness month, so it means it's a huge month for See Change's campaign to promote open discussion of mental health. Throughout the month, hundreds of local and national events will take place as part of the Green Ribbon campaign. This social movement, in it's third consecutive year, is led by partner organisations plus volunteers who attend training days like I have mentioned above. Many of the volunteers who attend training days also have some real-life experience of mental health problems ready to share their own stories to help others and end the stigma that surrounds the issue.

You can support See Change's stigma-reduction campaign by picking up your green ribbon at major Irish rail stations at at every Citizens Information Centre and MABS office nationwide throughout the month, and by taking part in National Time To Talk Day on Friday May 15th by simply making the time and space for a conversation about mental health with friends, family and collegues. See Change have set themselves the goal of having over 500 social media users similtaneously posting about the Green Ribbon campaign on May 15th, for more information please see here:

Other ways to support the initiative:

  • Wear the Green Ribbon on your Twitter or Facebook (or both if you have both!) profile picture in 3 super simple clicks (like I have done on the right!). To do this: please click HERE.
  • Get a Green Ribbon banner to use as your business page Facebook cover page (download HERE).
  • Get a Green Ribbon banner to use as your personal Facebook page cover photo (download HERE).
  • Get the Green Ribbon email signature (download here, or if you're using Gmail, simply add this URL to your signature settings:
  • If you're a blogger like myself, add the green ribbon bloggers badge to your blog (download HERE).
We often hear that we need to talk more about mental health and the simple Green Ribbon provides a practical way of turning that into action. The 500,000 people who will be wearing Green Ribbons this May will not only be showing their support for the campaign but also leaving the door open for conversation. For someone who might be going through a tough time, just knowing that they don't have to avoid the subject with you can make all the difference. You don't need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or be expected to have and know all the answers. You can go to the volunteer training day like I did, but you don't have to. I just went purely because I wanted to find out interesting ways to spark the conversation among college students.
Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know you are there for them and simply listen! 

1.6 million conversations were started last year during Mental Health Awareness Month, so this year See Change are hoping there will be more, and with everyone's help it is possible!!

To find out more about See Change's inspiring work, please visit their website ( here


  1. Thank you for commenting on my instagram asking for a follow back because otherwise I wouldn't have found your blog. Are you on Bloglovin? I'd like to follow you on there. This is such a lovely post and although I don't suffer from any mental health issues (that I am aware of anyway), my boyfriend often suffers quite badly with anxiety and I really want to show my support. I have put the green ribbon on my Twitter profile picture - @anotherbblogger - give me a follow if you like! I've read some of your other posts too, I love that you review really affordable items because I'm not brave enough to try out new brands. I'd love to get some of the Primark makeup, I just don't want to waste my money if it's no good!

    Lovely blog :)


    1. Hey! :) oh you're welcome, I'm always trying to find bloggers on it! :) I wasn't, but I am now! My name on it is kissandmakeupnow.
      Awh thank you, definitely is important to support it! I have followed you now on Twitter, I am @kissmakeupnow_, you can follow me back if you wish!
      Awh that's great that you think so, definitely can't afford much of the more expensive brands! :) Yes, definitely do try out the Primark makeup, I've used a few things of it already! Their foundation and lipsticks are especially amazing for the price!
      Yours too, thanks so much for your lovely comment :) xxx