Lime Green is the national color for Mental Health awareness. It symbolizes vigorous life and flourishing health. We wear our lime green ribbons as a way to start a conversation. It serves as an invitation. When someone sees the ribbon and asks "what does the lime green ribbon represent"? We can be prepared to share a consistent message.
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What does the ribbon represent:
It is a mental wellness campaign called Room4Everyone. Its focus is to eliminate stigma and discrimination those with Mental Health challenges face.
Why is that important:
So that each person knows that help is available and feels safe enough to ask for it.
How does the campaign work:
Through sharing stories, educating our communities, and creating media messages that support treatment and recovery.
Every day men, women and children, who are suffering from Mental Health challenges, go to great lengths to keep that a secret from others. Fear of what people will say about them keeps them silent. Fear of what people will think of them, and in some cases fear of what people may do to them reinforce the feeling that they are alone and there is no hope. At least 60% of people in need of Mental Health services are not receiving them, and the main reason is stigma.
The fact that in any given year One-in-Four Americans meets the criteria for a diagnosable mental illness means that we all know someone who may be suffering. It may be a co-worker, classmate, friend, or family member. One-in-Four means it very well could be one of us. When someone we care for is experiencing Mental Health challenges, multiple people are affected. For this reason when we talk about mental illness, we are not merely talking to the One-in-Four. This is a conversation that is critical for four out of four people.
We wear the lime green ribbons to invite conversations about Mental Health and to let others know that not only does Mental Health Matter, but its ok to talk about it! We must talk about it! The best way to break the stigma is to talk openly about mental illness and share stories of hope and recovery.
Myth vs. Fact
Myth: People with Mental Health problems are dangerous and should be avoided.
Fact: The vast majority of people with Mental Health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are 12 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.
Myth: People with Mental Health needs, even those who are managing their mental illness, cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.
Fact: People with Mental Health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with Mental Health problems report good attendance and punctuality as well as motivation, good work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees.
Myth: There is no hope for people with Mental Health problems. Once a person develops Mental Health problems, he or she will never recover.
Fact: Studies show that people with Mental Health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.
As a community member it is important to understand Mental Health, wellness, the effects of stigma and what you can do to reduce stigma. The great thing is you do not have to be an expert to share information with people you know.
The next step in being a Mental Health ambassador is to take action. We invite you to share this information with others. By clicking the link below you can send this article to a friend, family member or someone you know.