By Katrina Gay, NAMI Director of Communications
We have a day for giving thanks and two days for sales and buying presents. Now there is a day for giving back.
#GivingTuesday is a social media movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the holiday season. The second annual #GivingTuesday is on Dec. 3, 2013. Making a gift to help others by supporting a charity of your choice, then encouraging others to make a gift, too, are the anchor actions for this day of giving.
#GivingTuesday was started in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and was then joined by the United Nations Foundation as a partner. With the contributions of a powerful list of corporations and influential leaders, a true social media movement was born that now include thousands of #GivingTuesday initiatives and movements. NAMI is a part of this movement.
It’s Time to Shine the Light on Mental Illness
Mental illness affects everyone—nearly 60 million Americans every year experience mental illness. Left untreated, the costs are enormous to these individuals, their families and our communities.
But we also know that recovery is not a dream. Many people living with mental illness find themselves on the path of recovery made possible by treatment, support and understanding. However, barriers remain. Stigma, prejudice and ignorance present huge obstacles for many. Rather than simply talking about mental illness, we have an opportunity to take action and create a vision of a better tomorrow.
Millions of Americans face the day-to-day reality of living with mental illness. At NAMI, we get it. We’ve been there. We offer understanding and support unique to those who have this shared experience.
We know that the path of recovery is found through individual, family and community education, peer support, common sense public policy and the promotion of public understanding. Together with dedicated grassroots leaders, we educate families and those living with mental illness. We advocate night and day in every corner of the country to ensure better lives for everyone.
And yet fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosed mental health condition receive services and treatment in a given year. One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by age 24.
It’s Time to Make a Difference
You can play a part in changing the way the world understands mental illness. Today, and on Tuesday, Dec. 3, you can stand with us and help make a difference.
You can participate in NAMI’s It’s Time Campaign and:
- Read and share stories of inspiration and hope, promote understanding and acceptance.
- Share your story about why It’s Time to shine the light on mental illness.
- Take the pledge to stand up and make a difference.
- Make a gift to NAMI and make sure that no one person or family is alone in their fight.
You can become a NAMI #GivingTuesday ambassador, too, simply by using your existing social networks. You can inspire awareness and participation by inviting others to participate, open their minds, share and give.
It is simple and easy to participate through these three steps:
- Make a gift to NAMI on #GivingTuesday or shout out to others online to support the NAMI #ItsTime campaign.
- Tweet/Facebook/Instagram post and share your plans to give back. Sample Tweet: Today on #GivingTuesday, proud to support @NAMICommunicate & the 60M living w/ #mentalillness. #ItsTime. http://ow.ly/r9SDk
- Tweet/Facebook/Instagram post and ask others to give back to NAMI also. Sample Tweet: My #GivingTuesday gift? @NAMICommunicate to help make sure no person/family is alone in the fight. Are you giving? http://ow.ly/r9S3B
So stand with NAMI in starting the holiday season off right. Help others know that there is hope for our communities and for those affected by mental illness.
It’s time to take action.