You probably noticed by now, but we’re all excited that it’s not only Mental Health Awareness Month, but a few days ago on May 18, our bloggers participated in blogging for mental health. It’s been a wonderful week spreading information about mental health and busting stigma that still exists on mental illness.

Why is spreading mental health awareness and fighting prejudice so important?

About ten years ago, I was talking to a college classmate about depression. He was just 20 years old and I was a few years older and several years ahead of him in terms of my experience with mental illness. I had witnessed the impact depression had on my grandfather when I was 16.

When the topic of mental illness and depression came up, he passionately voiced his opinions to me. He felt that depression was a made up illness, that people didn’t need to pop a pill or even talk to a therapist, they simply needed to smile, suck it up and get on with their lives. I probably don’t need to tell you it pretty much ended our friendship. I was so upset that I didn’t even ask him why he felt that way or try to convince him otherwise. My anger silenced me and nothing more was said.

Spreading awareness is important because a lot of people are still ignorant about the magnitude of mental illness. Maybe they are in denial. Maybe they haven’t experienced it before so they don’t understand it. But it’s our duty (those of us who know) to tell others that it is real, that it is important and that there are people in our lives who need us to be aware of it. That’s what I think anyway. What about you?

Here are the five posts that topped our list this week.

10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Through Good Mental Health

(Partners in Wellness) – There are always ways we can improve our relationship. Here are 10 ways to do so through various mental health strategies.

Mental Health Awareness Day: Battling Stigma Through Science and Medicine

(Bipolar Beat) – This popular post goes into the negative consequences of stigma. It also attempts to debunk myths and misinformation on mental illness by providing scientific and medical evidence to prove a biological basis for mental illnesses and disorders.

Mental Health Month: 7 Ways to Advocate Like a Celebrity!

(Celebrity Psychings) – We may not have the hook-ups and special treatment that come with celebrity status, but there is still a lot we can do to spread the word about mental health. Read this to get some great ideas.

Artists and Mental Health

(The Creative Mind) – Many of the people who suffer mental health challenges are artists – often very accomplished and well-known actors, writers, musicians and others. Read this and you may find your new mental health hero.

Bipolar Dad – Out of the Mouth of My Children

(Mental Health Humor) – A fun activity for the kids (drawing a cartoon of their dad) turns out to be an open and “honest” family art therapy session. Find out what Chato B. Stewart learned about his kids and their impressions of having a bipolar dad.