World Mental Health Day is observed with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

Are you passionate about mental health awareness but not sure how to make an impact? Here are 10 ways you can impact mental health awareness.

1. Talk about it. Ask people how they’re doing and mean it! Always be ready to listen and encourage. Ask questions and never judge.

2. Share your story. Have you personally struggled or currently struggle with mental illness? Don’t hesitate to tell friends and family about it. Your story can encourage others to ask for help.

3. Encourage non-judgemental speak. Try to educate those around you on how to talk about mental illness. Never use words like “crazy” or “insane” as insults.

4. Talk to loved ones about how they are feeling. Regularly check in with those close to you, especially if you know they are dealing with a mental illness.

5. Talk about mental health with your children. Don’t assume kids are too young to understand. Depression can affect children in elementary school.

6. Be a supportive friend. Sometimes spreading mental health awareness can simply mean supporting and listening to those close to us.

7. Watch out for bullying at school or in the office. Bullying can lead to many difficulties including depression. Be aware of destructive behavior around you and report it to a trusted adult when necessary.

8. Learn the signs and symptoms of depression. Know what to watch for in yourself and those around you. Symptoms can be different in men and women.

9. Learn what to do when someone threatens suicide. Visit StopASuicide.org to be prepared. If someone is in a dangerous situation, just call 9-1-1.

10. Memorize the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This hotline is available 24/7. You can call for advice for yourself or a friend.

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