Today is May 1. The first day of Mental Health Month. This entire month we want to nudge all of you to celebrate triumphs, acknowledge struggles, and just come together. Let other people know they’re not alone. Feel less alone yourself. It’s what Post it Forward is all about.
One of the incredible ways you—all of you—have helped shape Tumblr is with your ability to be open and honest. It was you that turned this platform into a community, one based on genuine expression, creativity, and acceptance.
Neat. How can I participate?
Glad you asked! Each week, for all four weeks, we’ll be giving you ideas for ways to Post it Forward.
Week 1—Post it for you: How you practice self-care and personal well-being.
Week 2—Post it for each other: Ways you can be there for each other.
Week 3—Post it for reflection: Sharing stories of personal growth and development.
Week 4—Post it for the future: Committing to continuous reflection and improvement.
This week is all about posting for you. Acts of self-care. Here are some places to start:
Post an emoji spell for self-care and positivity. 🌈 🔮 💕 🌱
Share a photo or GIF of something that calms you down. Don’t have one? Here’s one.
What’s the one thing that always cheers you up? Post a photo of it, take a GIF, or illustrate it. Toss a sticker on it, if you’d like.
Never forget that you are valid! Post a selfie with “valid” sticker (see below).
Make a list of things you like about yourself.
Make a checklist of 5 acts of self-care you promise to do for yourself this week.
Make an audio post with a song that helps you zone out and re-energize.
Don’t forget to tag all your posts with #postitforward this month! It makes it easier for everyone to find each other’s contributions.
We’ve asked our pal Tumblrbot (@tumblrbot) to help out with any extra encouragement you might need. Try sending them messages like “tell me about Mental Health Month” or “what’s this week’s prompt?” Tumblrbot will let you know what’s up, because Tumblrbot is a friend to all of us.
We got Answer Times, all of them taking place right here on Post it Forward unless indicated otherwise:
5/4—Utkarsh Ambudkar, NAMI (@namiorg) ambassador, Pitch Perfect actor, and member of hip-hop improv group, Freestyle Love Supreme.
5/8—AJ Mendez Brooks, NAMI (@namiorg) ambassador, former pro wrestler, and author of Crazy Is My Superpower, a memoir about her experiences with bipolar disorder.
sunflowers or roses? skirts or dresses? books or movies? long sleeves or short sleeves? quiet libraries or crowded coffee shops? sweet or sour? city or countryside? Nutella or peanut butter? romance or drama movies? pictures of flowers or pictures of the sky? skin care or hair care? watermelon or honey melon? horses or ponies?
Hey, Tumblr. We’re back with another round-up for Mental Health Month. This batch o’ blogs are resources you can turn to and organizations you can rely on. The best part is that they’re so, so easy to access and utilize. Here are just a few of them.
Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support. If you’re in crisis, please text 741741 from anywhere in the US. The Crisis Text Line will connect you with a trained Crisis Counselor. If you don’t need to use their services, consider signing up to be part of their services. All it takes to become trained in crisis counseling is a desire to listen and help others.
To Write Love on Her Arms started as a Myspace post. Since it took off, they’ve donated more than $1.5 million to treatment and recovery programs, granting funding to 73 different organizations and counseling practices. They have a pretty good repository for finding help, with listings easily found either by location or reason you’re seeking help.
The Trevor Project is one of the leading national organizations providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. You can call their trained counselors at 1-866-488-7386, use TrevorText by texting “TREVOR” to 1-202-304-1200, or reach out via TrevorChat.
When it comes to making the world a better, more understanding place for mental health, NAMI (nearly) does it all. Across the US they educate to make sure people are getting the help they need, they advocate for public policy, and they listen. You can reach the NAMIHelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email@example.com.
It Gets Better Project wants to create and inspire change for LGBTQ+ youth. While they do suggest hotlines to call for immediate help (like The Trevor Project), their primary objective is to spread the message that, well, it gets better.
If you don’t live in the US, you may haven noticed most of these are US-based resources. Don’t worry. We have you covered too.
-when the sky is pink
-wearing your favorite outfit
-getting into a clean bed
-getting dessert in a restaurant
-sleeping in late
-when your room is clean and organized
-listening to your favorite song
-summer nights with friends
-a new episode of your favorite show
-good hair days
-texting your bestfriend
-getting new makeup
-making a new friend
-realizing you’re happy
-butterfly’s in your stomach
-getting cute messages
Hey, Tumblr! We hope the week two prompts for Mental Health Month are treating you well. In the spirit of the theme, posting it for each other, we wanted to celebrate one of the most helpful communities out there: yours. You’ve helped shape Tumblr into an incredible community for support. To take a look into exactly how it’s flourished over the years, we teamed up with Fandometrics (@thefandometrics) to bring you some sweet, sweet data.
How you talk about mental health
Discussion around #mental health has steadily grown year over year since 2013, with a 248% uptick of original posts and reblogs made between 2013 and 2016. In that same time span, original posts and reblogs about#therapy increased 29%. Much of that conversation was rooted in real people sharing real stories. Emotional and honest stories, like how therapy can help you better understand your life, how to say good-bye to the wrong therapist, or the difficulty of making the sometimes daunting decision to begin therapy for the first time.
There has also been a significant rise in people seeking ways to take care of themselves. The self-care movement has seen huge increases in searches (733%) and original posts (567%) between 2013 and 2016. Over the past six months, we’ve seen total engagement (searches, original posts, reblogs, and likes) around the #self-care tag spike with correlations to holidays and events in the news:
240% increase the day after the US Presidential Election
321% in the days following Christmas and Hanukkah
561% in the days leading up to the Inauguration, and
342% in the days following Valentine’s Day.
Anatomy of a post
To get a better understanding of what the public-facing conversations consist of, we looked at the top posts for the #mental health, #positivity, and #self-care tags from the past few years. We noticed a few trends that continued to appear over and over again:
Hey Tumblr, in honor of Mental Health Month and Post it Forward (@postitforward), we’re declaring today as a Day of Action to support NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (@namiorg), because we believe that everyone is entitled to mental health care and support.
NAMI is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the US. On behalf of the millions of people who are affected by mental illness every day, NAMI is dedicated to increasing awareness and resources for mental health conditions, combating the social stigma that surrounds mental illness, and advocating for better and equal health care for anyone seeking mental health treatment.
How can I support?
For Tumblr’s Day of Action, we’re encouraging the community to take the NAMI StigmaFree Pledge. By signing the pledge, you’re showing that you wish to fight the stigma that surrounds mental illness and demonstrating your support for all who are affected.
And, if you have the means, you can donate $5 or more to Tumblr’s Crowdrise fundraiser to support NAMI and help build a national network of accessible mental health support and resources for all.
While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime, we’re all likely impacted by mental illness—by friends, family members, or people in our community. Together, we can encourage acceptance, understanding, and support for mental health, and ensure that no one is alone on their mental health journey.
Got a minute? Of course you do. Just a minute. Just click on any of these links below. 60 seconds to allow yourself to decompress. Let go of stress. Enjoy these affirmation-loaded, self-care heavy, soothing-as-heck Tumblrs:
Motivational Tattoos has the one-stop shop for anyone who wants to buy inspiring temporary tattoos, self-care printables, and dissolvable paper in the shape of a thought bubble all in one stop. Something weighing you down? Write it down, place it in some warm water, and watch that heavy thought melt away.
The phrase “gentle reminder” might conjure up the image of old emails and texts from a passive-aggressive someone-or-another. That’s not this Tumblr. Gentle reminder: It reminds you, gently, to do nice things for yourself.
Remember when people were calling beautiful, artsy GIFs “cinemagraphs” because they seemed to be too beautiful to be called GIFs? @livingstills is full of those GIFs—beautiful, calming GIFs from the outdoors. It’s the second best thing to actually being in nature.
31 days of Mental Health Month have come and just about gone. Tumblr, thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for reading the stories of your peers. Without you—all of you—Post it Forward would not be the beautiful, caring community it is today.
Though we reblogged a lot of the art that was created this month, we wanted to end on a particular high note and highlight just a few more pieces in a special post.
There was no shortage of inspo:
Some of it was simple, but just as helpful and nice to look at:
We’re proud to showcase some valid as heck pets:
One person, Fatin (@nfzsketchbook), even made a zine about what it’s like to focus on self-care while battling a mental illness:
You can check out her full post—and more pages from her zine—here.
Mental Health Month may have been limited to, well, May, but it doesn’t mean our efforts stop in June. Post it Forward is always here as your hub for sharing stories and finding a support system with others who might be going through the same things you are. So keep sharing if you can, keep reading, and keep up all of the amazing work we’ve seen so far. And please always remember, there are resources out there if things ever get too hard. <3