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October allies

October Allies is an eight-week campaign to create mental health allies through an internet-driven movement. Persons with mental health issues face several social challenges, a lack of support from people around them being one.

With a better understanding of how we can be allies, we hope to work together to build safe spaces for persons living with mental health issues.

Who can be an ally

Everyone can. As someone who is an ally, you learn to listen with empathy, recognize and pay attention when a person is feeling distressed, and find ways to support a person who lives with mental health issues. By pledging to be a mental health ally, you are making a promise to be part of a community.

How the campaign works

Each week, a challenge — faced by persons with mental health issues — will be presented with a pledge that you can take. The campaign starts in September and runs through October.

Why take the pledge

We believe that this will bring a marked shift in people’s attitudes towards persons with mental health issues. By participating in this campaign, you play an important role in forming a supportive community, and nudge those around you to become allies.

I am still not convinced

White Swan Foundation’s biggest learning in the past five years has been that - the decisions of those with mental health issues are deeply influenced by the people in their lives. Having access to a mental health professional does not guarantee that their services will be utilized. How we think about an issue depends on what our understanding of it is. This makes the need to avail right knowledge crucial. In making a pledge to learn about these issues and be supportive - you are helping someone get one step closer to recovery and healing.

Week 1 - Myths

People with mental health issues and those around them are often not able to recognize signs of distress because they don’t have access to information about mental health.

Week 2 - Denial

People with mental health issues are often dismissive of their own experience due to lack of awareness, attached stigma, and discrimination.

Week 3 - Hiding

People with mental health issues hide their turmoil because they are afraid of being judged.

Week 4 - Coping

People with mental health issues often try their best to cope with symptoms on their own.

Week 5 - Guilt

People with mental health issues often feel guilty of not performing at work or in their relationships.

Week 6 - Reaching out

People with mental health issues recognise the need for help but are unsure about who to reach out to.

Week 7 - Struggling

People with thoughts of suicide having no one to turn to often attempt suicide as a cry for help.

Week 8 - Seeking allies

Way before an attempt of suicide, there are distressing thoughts. Suicide is more than just one act.

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