5 Ways To Fight For Mental Health Awareness

Color Of Change offers specific ways to help Black people cope with being Black people in America.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and you only need to look to the news to find examples of things that need to change in our country when it comes to mental health and social justice.

Daniel Prude, who suffered from a history of schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder, was murdered at the hands of the Rochester Police Department in March of 2020. In January of 2021, Elba Pope’s 9 year old daughter ended up pepper sprayed and handcuffed in the back of a Rochester Police Department’s police car, right after they were called for her suicide attempt. Daniel and Elba’s daughter’s cases are two of many cases of police violence where mental health services needed to be provided, but instead police officers responded with brutal violence.
Over the last year, we and our members have identified countless ways to fight for mental health awareness during the pandemic, and provide a collection of resources to help our communities fight for the protection and mental health services they need. We will continue to build power to demand the physical and mental protection Black people need to safely exist and survive the pandemic — and its aftermath.

This month, we’ve partnered with organizations for the first Mental Health Day of Action on Thursday, May 20th. Together, we are encouraging our communities to become mental health advocates and change leaders. We are calling on corporations, elected leaders, and all those in positions of power to commit to creating a safe space for Black communities. Here’s a few ways you can join the fight, take action and help demand healthy, safe spaces for our communities:

  1. Visit and Share the Mental Health Action Day Page

    Mental Health Action Day will drive our communities from awareness to action. This moment will provide the resources we need to take action towards acknowledging ways we can discuss and improve our mental health. Please share this website with your communities.

  2. Take The Survey: ‘Reimagining Safety’

    Black people have never felt safe in a world that has brutalized and murdered us. We’re compiling details about what safety means to Black people and our allies, so we can clearly share our collective vision moving forward. Share what safety looks like to you and what it would mean for you to feel safe in your communities by taking this survey.

  3. Sign The Petition: Demand That Our Right to Protest is Protected

    Our communities have always used protesting to express our disapproval of lawmakers’ decisions. It was our voices shouting in the streets, during a pandemic, for all those who have been murdered by police violence that has been instrumental in holding police departments accountable. Protesting pushes lawmakers to listen to our demands and forces them to understand the negative impacts they have on our community. Please sign this petition to protect our right to protest.

  4. Create Your Own Campaign

    Justice starts with all of you. Color Of Change would like to encourage you to create a campaign that supports our mental health. Please visit our OrganizeFor website for more details.

  5. Call Rochester Officials to Demand Justice and Accountability

    Rochester Police Department, not only continues to harm Black Lives, but continues to ignore our mental health needs. Let’s do our part by signing this petition to demand Rochester officials take responsibility for the lives they have harmed.

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