Take Action for Mental Health Awareness Month

May 11, 2023

Cynthia Germanotta is president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation (BTWF), created with her daughter Lady Gaga. Born This Way Foundation supports the mental health and wellness of young people, empowering them to build a kinder, braver world. Cynthia is also a World Health Organization (WHO) Ambassador for Mental Health.

This story took place in United States

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an essential time for us to join together to raise awareness about mental health, break down stigma, and share free, accessible mental health resources.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Month theme is “Hope and Resilience: Mental Health for All,” a galvanizing reminder that highlights our collective aspiration that with young people globally, we will build that kinder, braver world we envision. We all have mental health, and we’re all affected by it whether personally or through someone we know. So it will take all of us, together, to build a movement that encourages people, especially young people, to seek help when they need it, reach out to others they notice are struggling, and encourage more open, informed, and kind conversations.

I invite you to join us in taking kind action by:

  • Sharing your story through the Channel Kindness Storytellers Club, a free writing workshop that focuses on giving young people (and anyone!) the tools they need to tell their stories and feel more comfortable expressing themselves through writing.
  • Learning how to be there for yourself and others by earning your Be There Certificate, a free online mental health course that teaches you how to recognize when someone might be struggling, understand your role in supporting that person, and learn how to connect them to the help they need and deserve.
  • Building kinder online communities through #BeKind365, an online platform where you can pledge to intentional, year-round kindness, send kind, affirming messages, find curated kind act suggestions, and witness the global ripple effect of your kindness.
  • Finding and sharing a global directory of mental health resources on Find A Helpline.

At Born This Way Foundation, we believe in taking kind action to transform the world that is informed and led by young people. I recently met with global youth leaders and am proud to share about their work with you. Vinicius from Brazil advocated for the use of media to connect all young people with helplines and urgent care in order to address the suicide crisis. Jennifer from Belgium emphasized the importance of checking in with young people to understand if the care provided meets their needs because recovery is not linear and looks different for everyone. Jamie-Lee showed us that mental health stigma still widely exists in South Africa and called for a more open conversation globally and more mental health education in primary, secondary, and high schools. Lastly, Fatima-Zahra from Morocco urged organizations to work in the spirit of true partnerships with young people, going beyond advisory councils and involving them in the development of mental health programs.

I invite you to join these powerful young people in taking action this Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond. You can explore Born This Way Foundation’s research, programs, and resources, participate in a mental health event, seek resources to support your own or a loved ones’ mental health, or simply but profoundly start a conversation about mental health with someone you trust.

We’re in this together.