“Are you up for the challenge?” It’s a question we often hear when talking about running a marathon, a triathlon, an iron man, or climbing Mt. Everest. We may hear it when we’re trying to quit smoking or lose weight. However, it’s not a question we hear when asked about publicly sharing our personal story of “what Mental Health Awareness means to me.”

Personal stories of struggles with mental health, no matter how large or small, are rarely shared openly. It really is hard, as we don’t know how our friends and family will react to hearing about our struggles. Will they treat me differently if they know I have struggles with anxiety and depression? What will they say if they know I go to a therapist? How can I tell them that I have thought the world would be a better place without me?

It truly is a challenge to put yourself in the vulnerable position of telling your personal story. However, telling your story can give you power over the struggles you face by recognizing them openly and publicly. It gives you strength to face the issues directly, but the additional benefit we often don’t see or hear about is that by telling your story it may help someone else understand they’re not much different than you. They may look to you as a role model or leader, and by telling the story of your struggles, it helps them face the issues they may have in their life as well.

My question for you during the month of May, is “Are YOU up for the Challenge?” Will you share your personal story or will you tell us why celebrating May as Mental Health Awareness month is important to you?

During the month of May, CISDR is holding a Mental Health Awareness Social Media Posting contest and we need YOU to participate, because your story is important to us! It’s really easy to participate and enter the contest.  Here is what we are asking you to do:

  • Share a picture/video telling your personal story with mental health awareness, or
  • Post a video(s) of you answering one or all of the following questions:
    1. What does understanding mental health mean to you?
    2. How has mental health awareness impacted your life?
    3. What can you and other people do to understand the need for mental awareness?
    4. How do you see mental wellness and health awareness helping students in schools?

All entries should reference May as Mental Health Awareness month and must tag Communities In Schools Dallas Region and have the following hashtags:

#CISDR #AllinForKids #MentalHealthMatters #OkaytoSay

Entries may be posted on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

All social media posts during the month of May which meet these requirements will be entered into a drawing for a $50 restaurant gift card.