Welcome to this Special Edition of The HUB: May is National Mental Health Awareness Month! 

There is a lot going on this month and many special resources are available here in Orange County (OC). We’ve unpacked the incredible Take Action for Mental Health Digital Toolkit into a week-by-week guide to help you easily incorporate the themes, messages, activities, and resources for your school, organization, and community.

Ready to get started? Below are Week 1 and 2. All you have to do is pick one or more activities and incorporate them each week. Look for Week 3 and 4 coming soon.

The goal of the Take Action campaign is to help Californians support mental health with the central focus on prevention and early intervention efforts that promote mental wellness. The campaign offers Californians tools to seek help for themselves and/or a loved one. 

As we enter May is Mental Health Awareness Month, keep in mind that it is time to press reset and focus on how we can care for our well-being and find new opportunities to build mental wellness and resilience in an uncertain world. Just as the days are getting longer, let us take this month to intentionally seek new ways to bring light and hope into our own lives and the lives of those around us.
WEEK 1 / MAY 1 – 8: KICK OFF
Mental Health Month Emails

Kick off the week by launching the Mental Health Month email campaign, which encourages staff, providers, and community partners to celebrate and promote mental health efforts throughout May. These weekly emails are super easy to deploy and ready to customize with your logo and local information. All you have to do is download the Week 1 email template here
Spread the Word on Your Social Media

Posting social media messages has never been easier with these ready-made posts and images. To post, click on an image to download and copy and paste the caption to your or your organization’s social media platforms. Check out Week 1 posts: 
May is #MentalHealthMattersMonth! You can Take Action For Mental Health by finding out how to #CheckIn, #LearnMore, and #GetSupport for yourself or anyone you know who is in a mental health crisis. Visit takeaction4mh.com 
This #MentalHealthMattersMonth, make the pledge to Take Action For Mental Health for yourself, your friends, and your community. Make your pledge now at takeaction4mh.com and share your pledge with your network! #MakeThePledge #TakeAction4MH

Video Conferencing Backgrounds
Want some fun virtual backgrounds? Show your spirit by downloading and using these video conferencing backgrounds for your meetings in May. 
Share the Guided Journal for Student Well-Being 
According to Positive Psychology, “Journaling can help you clear your head, make important connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and even buffer or reduce the effects of mental illness.” The Community Networking Project and Orange County students have teamed up to create a Guided Journal for Student Well-Being. 

The guided journal offers students a space to reflect on how they are feeling and what they are grateful for. Each daily entry has an inspiring wellness quote and an open-ended question that students can reflect on such as “What are the things that make you feel relaxed and at peace?” and “What inspires you the most?” Questions like these help students to focus on gratitude, positivity, and hope rather than dwelling on more negative thoughts and feelings they may be experiencing. Students can use this journal on their own, or teachers can utilize it as a guide for daily reflection time before class begins. Access and download the journal here
Mental Health Activities 

Join Mental Health Spirit Day by May 7
Children’s Mental Health Day is on May 7 and Directing Change is inviting everyone to complete a Mental Health Spirit Day Activity, submit proof of participation, and win a gift card, pizza party, and other prizes! Students ages 12-25 are eligible to participate individually, or schools and organizations can join as a group. Examples of Mental Health Spirit Day Activities include: 

  • Go lime green! The lime green ribbon is a symbol of mental health. Show your lime green spirit by dressing up, doing fun makeup and/or nails, and then taking a picture. 
  • Dress up as an emotion or draw a picture that reflects how you feel. 
  • Show your spirit with a cheer, song, dance, or collage that expresses why mental health matters. 
  • Do It Yourself (DIY) and come up with your own Mental Health Spirit Day Activity! 

Submissions are due by May 7 at midnight. Learn more and submit proof of participation here

Calling Students to Participate in the Directing Change Program and Film Contest
The Directing Change Program and Film Contest engages young adults across California to learn about the warning signs of suicide, better mental health, and how to help a friend by creating short videos. The "Hope and Justice" submission category is one of the multiple categories in which students can participate. The "Hope and Justice" May prompt is Dear Me.

Students are invited to create a piece of art, film, or letter with a message to their future selves. To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, students are asked to include how they have taken care of their mental health or identify their goals for taking care of their well-being in the future. Students can use this opportunity to remind their future selves about their strength and resiliency during challenging times. 

Submissions are due on May 31, 2022. All California young adults ages 12-25 are eligible to participate and can win up to $300 in Amazon gift cards. Learn more and see entry and submission requirements here.
Mental Health Month Emails 

Keep your momentum going by sharing the campaign emails to encourage staff, providers, and community partners to celebrate and promote mental health efforts throughout May. The Week 2 email template focuses on understanding warning signs of mental distress and recognizing when it is time to seek mental health support. Download the Week 2 email template here
Mental Health Activities
Customize Your Own Mental Health Mirror Cling Today 
This downloadable and printable mirror cling allows you to write personal reminders about your well-being. Place the cling on a bathroom mirror or any place where you will be sure to see it every day as a reminder to take time for yourself. Share it with students and friends as a quick reminder that their well-being deserves time every day. 
Spread the Word on Social Media 

Social media is a powerful tool to increase mental health awareness and reduce the stigma, and it’s easy to do with these ready-to-go posts and images. Check out Week 2 posts: 
For #MentalHealthMattersMonth, you can Take Action For Mental Health by finding out how to #CheckIn on your mental health and the mental health of those you care about. Start a conversation to see how you can help or support yourself — or others. Find out how at takeaction4mh.com #TakeAction4MH
Here's another action you can take for #MentalHealthMattersMonth: #LearnMore about mental health needs and explore the self-care, services, and supports available to help find a path forward. Visit takeaction4mh.com to get started. #TakeAction4MH
Community Events 

Families in Recovery: How We Can Return to Wellness 
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County (NAMI OC) is hosting a Knowledge Forum – Families in Recovery: How We Can Return to Wellness – on May 10, 2022 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 

Join NAMI OC and learn about: 

  • The “Families in Recovery” model for family members living with addiction 
  • The four stages of the path to wellness
  • Identifying which stage your family is in today 
  • A comprehensive plan for growth and change 

Register for the event here
LGBTQ+ Youth Convening 
Save the dates! The LGBTQ+ Center OC is hosting a LGBTQ+ Youth Convening on May 14 and May 21 from 11:00 – 2:00 p.m. The Youth Convening will address the stigma related to mental illness that affects LGBTQ+ youth today. The virtual conference will lead multi-disciplinary discussions, workshops, and sessions that destigmatize mental health and educate the OC community on issues relevant to LGBTQ+ youth. Register for the virtual conference here
Resource Fair and Family Fun at the Santa Ana Zoo 
Olive Crest invites all Orange County families to join them on May 14, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Santa Ana Zoo for a day full of fun and mental health activities. There will be giveaways, special guest speakers, and resource booths. The first 500 attendees will receive free admission into the Zoo. For any questions, please contact Tatiana Restrepo at Tatiana-restrepo@olivecrest.org.
Understanding the Color Spectrum of Mental Health 
Imagine a spectrum running from wellness to mental suffering. Everyone falls somewhere on the spectrum, and where we fall can change over time, depending on many factors. Determining where we may fall on the mental health spectrum can help to identify problems early and take preventive action. 

There are four different color zones: 

  • Green: The green zone is a state of well-being.
  • Yellow: The yellow zone means being in an unsettled state of mind. 
  • Orange: The orange zone signals having a hard time coping with daily life. 
  • Red: The red zone is the crisis zone where individuals find it difficult to get through the day. 

No matter where we fall on the spectrum, there are things we can do to maintain and preserve our mental well-being. Access the Understanding the Spectrum of Mental Health resource here

Wellness Ideas for Schools from Orange County Students 
On March 31, 2022, the Community Networking Project hosted a Youth-Led Conference: Making Wellness a part of Every Student’s School Day. OC students shared easy, tangible ways for educators and school staff to incorporate wellness and social and emotional activities in schools every day. Daily wellness check-ins, stretch breaks, and sticky notes with encouraging messages around schools are all easy ways to make students feel supported while at school. Learn about more wellness ideas from OC students here
We Want to Hear From You! Want to share an event that advances student mental health? Let The Hub help. Whether an event, training, webinar, grant, or a “Zoom” gathering, we can help spread the word! We encourage you to submit items for future issues.

Share The HUB! Please forward it on to educators, staff, administrators, parents, families and students in the school community, and community organizations serving youth and families. 
The HUB is brought to you by The Reilly Group as part of the OC Health Care Agency Community Networking Project, and humble editors: Gabriela Rodriguez, Colleen Reilly, and Lyric Winik. The HUB is specially designed to serve our community and connect you to the rich array of K-12 school-based mental health events, activities, services, resources, webinars, trainings, policy and funding opportunities, and more, happening here in OC and beyond. 
 Contact the Community Networking Project at gabriela@reillygroupinc.com.
Funded by OC Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Mental Health and Recovery Services, Prevention & Intervention, Mental Health Services Act/Prop. 63