Mental Illness Awareness Week

green ribbonIn 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of NAMI’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness. Since then, mental health advocates across the country have joined with others in their communities to sponsor activities, large or small, for public education about mental illness.

MIAW coincides with the National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding (Oct. 7) and National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 9.)

MIAW activities vary by NAMI State Organization and NAMI Affiliate. In some cases, activities may occur a week or so before or after the formal week, particularly if multiple events are planned. Please contact local NAMI Affiliates for specific information.

Going Green

Help shine a light on mental illness in your home, online or in your community. This year NAMI is coordinating with hundreds of people, landmarks and organizations across the country to get everyone to “go green.”

Here are all the ways you can show your support!

  • Change your Facebook cover photo.
  • Make your Facebook/Twitter profile picture green.

In Your Community

  • Join the Green Light Initiative. Across the country, buildings and landmarks are lighting up green to show support and raise awareness for mental health. The green light is meant to start a conversation and inspire hope.
    • Utilize connections you may have in your community to get buildings illuminated in your town or city.
  • Host an event or get together with friends, family or neighbors.
  • Hand out  green ribbons for people to wear.
  • Contact local businesses and government to see about placing green ribbons throughout your community on trees, light posts, columns and in other public spaces.

Make a Statement

  • Wear green. Be creative; don’t just limit this to your everyday wardrobe. Wear green shoelaces, a green suit, dye your hair green or paint your fingernails.
  • Initiate a “Wear Green Day.” Encourage your workplace and friends to pick a day during the month to wear green to spread the word about Mental Illness Awareness Week.
  • Wear a green ribbon. Pin it on your shirt or on your bag or backpack.