Idaho Mental Health Month 2020: Moving Mountains Toolkit
The campaign for this year’s mental health month celebrates Idaho’s spirit. Idahoans are as strong, resilient, and awe-inspiring as the mountains we are lucky enough to enjoy all around our beautiful state. We are a community that values respect, individuality, and freedom of thought. Because of these collective strengths, we believe that together, we can raise awareness about mental health. Together, we can end the stigma of living with a mental health condition, and together, we can move mountains.
Facebook Cover Photo and Profile Photo
We invite you to celebrate this Mental Health Month by changing your organization’s Facebook cover photo and profile photo to our Idaho Mental Health Month 20020 themed cover photo and profile photo!
Social Media Graphics
In honor of Idaho Mental Health Month 2020, we have partnered with local Idahoan artist Ashley Dreyfus to create 6 shareable social media graphics illustrating Idaho values of individuality, community, and resilience. If we come together as Idahoans we can have the power to raise awareness regarding mental health, end the damaging stigma surrounding mental illness, and move mountains to support the mental health of all Idahoans!
We encourage you to share the graphics below using the hashtag #IdahoMentalHealthMonth and #TogetherWeCanMoveMountains. We have created caption suggestions below that you may use in your social media posts, but feel free to create written content that makes the most sense to your organization. Feel free to tag @EmpowerIdaho in your posts so we may share your posts.
It’s OK to Not Feel OK Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “It’s OK to not feel OK. Feelings of anxiousness and depression are acceptable, OK, and perfectly human experiences. Talking about the way you feel with a mental health professional or a trusted loved one is healthy and encouraged. Embrace what makes you you.
#IdahoMentalHealthMonth #TogetherWeCanMoveMountains #MentalHealthMonth2020#MHM2020”
Breaking the Stigma Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “It’s time to break the stigma surrounding mental illness. Let’s rejoice in acceptance and understanding, and reject outdated mindsets and prejudices. Let’s end the stigma and come together for Idahoans with mental illness. #IdahoMentalHealthMonth#TogetherWeCanMoveMountains
Mental Health is an Idaho Issue Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “1 in 4 Idahoans live with a mental health condition, making mental health an Idaho issue through and through. “Othering” mental illness as an “us” versus “them” issue is damaging and holds us back from progress. Recognizing the importance of mental health awareness and the prevalence of mental health conditions brings us closer to an Idaho that is better equipped to serve its citizens. How will you help raise awareness this #MentalHealthMonth?
Mental Health Matters Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “This #MentalHealthMonth we want to emphasize that mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health matters! Why does mental health matter to you?
Together, We Can Move Mountains Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “Together, we can raise awareness. Together, we can end the stigma. Together, we can move mountains!
Every Idahoan Deserves Access to Mental Health Services Graphic (click here to download)
Caption Suggestion: “Every Idahoan deserves access to mental health services!”
Share Your Story
Mental Health Month is a great time to share your mental health story! If you feel comfortable sharing, consider sharing your personal story with your social network using the hashtags #IdahoMentalHealthMonth #TogetherWeCanMoveMountains #MentalHealthMonth2020. Your story is important and raises awareness about mental health in Idaho. The Empower Idaho team will search these hashtags throughout May and share the stories shared by Idahoans in our newsletter and on our Empower Idaho Facebook and Instagram accounts (@EmpowerIdaho).
Mental Health Month Promotional Items
(COMING SOON) Due to COVID-19, swag orders have been put on hold until non-essential businesses are able to operate safely again. Our Idaho Mental Health Month 2020 swag will feature the art pieces above designed by Idahoan Ashley Dreyfus of Dreyfus Art. Stay tuned for more detailed information on Idaho Mental Health Month 2020 swag when it becomes available by subscribing to the Empower Idaho newsletter here!
Get Involved: Advocacy Opportunities
Contents: Identifying Your Elected Officials; Sample Letter to Elected Officials; 2020 Mental Health Month Key Messages; Op-Eds or Letters to the Editor
Mental Health Month is an opportunity to advocate for mental health and for Idahoans with mental illness. Below, we have provided useful resources to support you in advocating for mental health including a sample letter to elected officials, and links link to identifying your elected officials.
Identifying Your Elected Officials
- Click here to find your legislators’ contact information by simply entering your street address and zip code. (legislature.idaho.gov/legislators/whosmylegislator)
- Click here to access the State of Idaho’s elected officials website. (www.idaho.gov/government/elected-officials)
Sample Letter to Elected Officials
Please feel free to use the sample letter below as a template. The “Key Messages” section of this toolkit contains a wealth of Idaho and National mental health information that may be inserted into your letter to your elected official.
“Mental health in Idaho needs to be a top priority.”
Body of Email:
“Hello Representative/Senator/Governor/etc. _____________,
My name is (your first and last name) and I am constituent of yours from [Town X]. I am emailing you today with the intent of emphasizing how important mental health issues are in our state.
(Choose up to three of the strongest key messages from the toolkit that highlight what is most important to you and state them here.)
(Include a brief personal story here. Tell your representative why mental health matters to you and how it affects you, your family member and your community.)
As my elected official, I ask that you work to support initiatives that increase access to quality mental health services, boost the number of providers in underserved and rural areas, and encourage all Idahoans to treat our friends and neighbors living with mental health conditions with respect and compassion.
Op-Eds or Letters to the Editor: What are they and why are they important?
Op-Eds are typically around 500-word opinion pieces written by everyday folks, often not paid journalists or reporters, about a given topic. Op-Eds are powerful storytelling tools that anyone may utilize. They lift up important issues using personal experience to highlight commonalities among community members. Letters to the Editor are even briefer, approximately 150-200 words, that can often be submitted through a form on a new source’s website by anyone. That is why we encourage Idahoans and Idaho organizations and businesses to consider submitting an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor in honor of #MentalHealthMonth to your local newspaper! To learn more about how to create an Op-Ed, click here. To learn the general steps of submitting an op-ed, click here.
2020 Mental Health Month Key Messages
Below are Key Messages that may be used in Op-eds, on social media posts, in newsletters, as talking points, and any other avenues to raise awareness about mental health in Idaho.
Idaho Key Messages
- Mental health is integral to the wellbeing and success of each Idahoan and addressing the complex mental health needs of Idahoans is fundamental to the future of Idaho.
- Mental health is an Idaho issue because 24,000 Idaho youth experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year; approximately 310,000 adults in Idaho live with a mental health condition, and Idaho has the 5th highest suicide rate in the nation.
- Education and awareness about mental health conditions decreases stigma and promotes a culture of acceptance and resilience.
- Providing treatment and access to mental health services results in lives saved and brighter futures, and is in the best interest of state-wide health outcomes.
- Recovery from and management of mental illnesses is possible and sustainable for Idahoans, especially when resources and support are available.
Mental Health America Key Messages
- Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, and mental illnesses are common and treatable.
- While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health.
- There are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency regardless of the situations they are dealing with.
- It’s important to recognize your emotions and own your feelings, work to find the positive even when facing adversity or loss, reach out and try to connect with others, remove those people in your life who are bringing you down, and create healthy routines to take care of yourself.
- There are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.
- One way to check in on yourself is to take a mental health screen at mhascreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and private way for someone to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.
- Mental Health America is encouraging everyone to take a mental health screen at mhascreening.org. Help us reach our goal of a million screens during the month of May. #millioninmay
- Living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating mental health tools to thrive may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.
- Recognizing your feelings, finding the routines that lift you up, removing toxic influences and connecting with others can all help you on your path to recovery as you develop your own mental health #tools2thrive.
MHA Key Messages available in their toolkit download here.
MHA Free Screening Tool
We encourage you to check out Mental Health American’s free Mental Health screening tool. Access the tool at mhascreening.org. The tool is simple, free, and available to all! This Mental Health Month, Mental Health America hopes to provide at least one million mental health screenings through their tool. #millioninmay
Mental Health Month Virtual Art Exhibition
Empower Idaho is hosting two virtual art exhibitions highlighting the work of Idahoans who have a relationship with mental health. Please feel free to enjoy the recorded May 2nd Art Exhibition, and to sign up for the May 15th Art Exhibition!
More Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health America (MHA) Mental Health Month Toolkit: MHA has created an excellent Mental Health Month toolkit. Download it here.
- Idaho Counseling Association (telehealth): Click here to access the Idaho Counseling Association’s list of telehealth providers in Idaho.
- Psychology Today (telehealth): Click here to access Psychology Today list of telehealth providers in Idaho.
- Idaho COVID-19 Hotline: The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has created an Idaho COVID-19 Hotline. You may reach them at 888-330-3010.
- Who may call? Anyone experiencing any type of distress from feeling overwhelmed or isolated, a mental health challenge, substance use disorder, or if you are seeking resources.
- Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline: Text or call 1-208-398-4357
- Idaho 2-1-1 Care Line: Call 2-1-1
- Empower Idaho Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19 Awareness Campaign: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Empower Idaho has created a Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19 Awareness Campaign with several shareable social media graphics, informational flyers, and a collection of community and mental health resources for Idahoans. We encourage you to use these tools and resources in any way that may benefit your network. Access this awareness campaign at www.empoweridaho.org/awareness-campaigns, or by clicking here!
- National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day: (May 7, 1:00 – 2:30 pm) Join SAMHSA, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging (NCMHA) for a thoughtful discussion, including practical ideas to promote connection and recovery for older adults with serious mental illness and substance use disorders, during this unprecedented time in our history. Register here.