This post was written by Suja Mathew (she/her/hers), Operations Manager, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS).

“How are you doing?”

“It’s OK to not be OK.”

These are simple ways you can pitch in to boost another person’s mood!

In advance of Mental Health Awareness Month 2021, the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) rolled out the Boost Your Mood campaign to make it easier to access important information about behavioral health supports and services available to Philadelphians. Check out resources on:

  • Wellness
  • Coping with COVID-19
  • A Faith and Spiritual Affairs Toolkit created for faith leaders
  • Addressing trauma
  • Free Mental Health First Aid training to help yourself and others
  • And much more

Mental Health Awareness is also a topic close to my heart, both in my personal and career journey. When I think of mental health, I think of all who have struggled and continue to struggle from anxiety or depression, and to those who have died by suicide. According to the National Council for Well Being, mental illness is experienced by one in five adults annually, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for those ages 10-34.

Whether mental health is a taboo topic in your community or simply not prioritized, know that there is hope and you are not alone. There are many great resources available to check in with ourselves and each other. Imagine if each one of us took a moment to ask ourselves — or another person — “how am I doing today” or “how are you doing today?”

I encourage everyone to ask this question and to think of one way you can take care of your mental health every single day. Share it with someone else because sometimes it helps to have an accountability buddy. Whether you find support through meditation or by using an inspiring quote that resonates with you, make sure to create some time for yourself — however that may be.

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!