Let’s work together to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health

May 16, 2023
Dustin Lapray, Division of Behavioral Health

As Mental Health Awareness Month, May offers 31 days to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health issues. The awareness campaign highlights ways mental illness and substance use disorders may affect all of us – patients, providers, families, and communities.

Here are some ways you can help raise awareness and reduce stigma for yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your friends here in Idaho.

When it comes to mental health, small actions can equal big impact.

If you’re worried about your mental health, or about the mental health of someone you know, there are resources and people willing to help, no matter the situation. The simple act of talking about mental health can promote acceptance and encourage people to seek help.

Whether you share resources, encourage others to seek help, or are simply there for someone when they need you, all Idahoans can instill hope and help others to reach out when they’re most in need.

Self-care is important for your mental health

Despite life’s stressors, there are simple steps you can take to promote self-care, like prioritizing sleep, practicing gratitude, ensuring you’re eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water.

When you take care of yourself, your physical and emotional health improves. You become more resilient and can find ways to manage stress in a healthy and positive way.

Mental health is essential to your overall health and quality of life and taking care of yourself is an essential part of your mental health.

All of us play a role in one another’s mental wellness

Language matters. When we use open and compassionate language around mental health issues, we empower ourselves and encourage others to find the help they need.

No matter the situation, there’s always help and hope

Be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health issues so that we can all work together to support one another.

If you’re worried about your mental health or about someone you know, there are resources and people willing to help, no matter your situation.

Whether by sharing resources, encouraging others to seek help, or simply being there for someone in need, we instill hope and can help others to reach out when they need it most.


  • 988 is Idaho’s behavioral health crisis line. Call or text 988 to get the help and support you need. It’s free, confidential, and always connects you with a trained crisis counselor.
  • If you or someone you know needs help, call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 or texting 898211 to connect with a 2-1-1 community resource specialist. If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol or substance use, please call 2-1-1.
  • Visit DHW’s list of behavioral health crisis resources online: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/services-programs/behavioral-health/behavioral-health-crisis-resources

Dustin Lapray is a public involvement officer with the Division of Behavioral health at DHW.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov. 

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