One of the most fun parts of my job is hearing stories from donors and their “why” – why they choose to give generously to Mental Health America (MHA). I recently spoke with Gary, a passionate mental health advocate. Our conversation and his commitment to raising awareness about mental health inspired me greatly.
During our conversation, Gary shared how he used MHA’s Mental Health Month toolkit within his retirement community. His enthusiasm was evident as he described the benefits of utilizing resources and attending our “Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19: What Should Communities Do Next?” webinar. Gary shared with me how he introduced resources to a community that is often overlooked or ignored.
Listening to Gary’s “why” reminded me of the everyday impact of MHA 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 the stigma
At MHA, we believe it is important to talk openly about mental health issues. People are often afraid to seek help because they fear being made fun of or seen as weak. However, mental health is just as important as physical health. Your support helps us spread the word that you can talk about mental health without fear, shame or stigma.
2. Turn hope into action
It is estimated that 1 in 5 people will develop some type of mental illness during their lifetime. When you support MHA, you are turning hope into real help for people in need. It could be your donation that makes the difference.
3. Share resources
More than 3,000 people participated in MHA webinars in 2023 and more than 60,000 people downloaded our Mental Health Month toolkit. In a survey of those who downloaded, 89% said the toolkit improved the overall mental health of their community.
4. Saving lives: making screenings accessible
Did you know that $1.25 pays for a screen that saves lives in mhascreening.org? This year, MHA provided free, anonymous, clinically validated screening tests to more than 5 million people. Your donation ensures that everyone can access this life-saving resource.
5. Spread joy
Making a donation is not just about helping other people; It is also good for our health. Researchers have found that giving is associated with increased happiness and decreased 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 promote mental health and well-being for everyone. Donate here. Thanks to the Hot Top Foundation, all donations will be matched up to $100,000 through December 31, 2023.
- Share awareness: Spread the word about MHA’s work in your community or on social media.
- Fundraising: Start a fundraiser or organize an event for MHA.
- Advocate: Join MHA defense network to receive email alerts about national campaigns that need your support.
- Learn and share: Stay mentally healthy by educating yourself and others.
I hope these reasons inspire you to MHA support this holiday season, and I appreciate hearing any “whys”!
Jennifer Molina is the Individual Giving Manager for Mental Health America.