One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is hearing stories from donors and their “why” – why they choose to give generously to Mental Health America (MHA). Just recently, I spoke with Gary, a passionate mental health advocate. Our conversation and his commitment to raising mental health awareness inspired me greatly.
During our conversation, Gary shared how he utilized MHA's Mental Health Month toolkit within his retirement community. His enthusiasm was apparent as he described the benefits of using resources and attending our "COVID-19 Mental Health Consequences: What communities should do next?" webinar. Gary shared with me how he introduced resources to a community that is often overlooked or ignored.
Hearing Gary's "why" reminded me of MHA's everyday impact on people's lives. Below are five common "whys" we hear from donors that we hope will inspire you to reflect on your own reasons.
1. End stigma
At MHA, we believe it is important to talk openly about mental health concerns. Often, people are scared to seek help because they fear being teased or viewed as weak. However, mental health is just as important as physical health. Your support helps us spread the word that mental health can be discussed without fear, shame, or stigma.
2. Turn hope into action
It is estimated that 1 out of 5 people will develop some form of mental illness during their lifetime. When you support MHA, you are turning hope into real help for people who are in need. It may be your donation that makes the difference.
3. Share resources
Over 3,000 people participated in MHA webinars in 2023, and more than 60,000 individuals downloaded our Mental Health Month toolkit. In a survey of downloaders, 89% said the toolkit improved their community's overall mental health.
4. Save lives: Make screenings accessible
Did you know $1.25 pays for a lifesaving screen at mhascreening.org? This year, MHA provided free, anonymous, and clinically-validated screens to over 5 million people. Your donation ensures that everyone can access this lifesaving resource.
5. Spread joy
Making a donation isn't just about helping other people; it is also good for our health. Researchers have found that giving is associated with a boost in happiness and a decrease in stress. It's a win-win situation!
As we work to shape the future of mental health, I hope you will join Gary and consider supporting Mental Health America. The following are some ways you can give back:
- Donate directly: Every donation helps us advance mental health and well-being for all. Donate here. Thanks to the Hot Top Foundation, all donations will be matched up to $100,000 until Dec. 31, 2023.
- Share awareness: Spread the word about MHA's work in your community or on social media.
- Fundraise: Start a fundraiser or organize an event for MHA.
- Advocate: Join MHA's advocacy network to receive email alerts about national campaigns that need your support.
- Learn and share: Stay mentally healthy by educating yourself and others.
It is my hope that these reasons will inspire you to support MHA this holiday season, and I welcome hearing your “why” anything!
Jennifer Molina is the Individual Giving Manager at Mental Health America.