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Raising Money for Mental Health Treatment

Aug 20, 2021 Fundraising Tips

Stigma is prevalent

Stigma around mental illness is sadly highly prevalent all over the world, although in some countries more so than others. Charities and wonderful organizations, as well as individuals, are working hard to try and break down this stigma.

Stigma can mean that people will not seek out mental health treatment for fear that what they are going through is not important or that they will not receive the help that they need. This world health report explains that “nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional.”

Lack of education can mean that people don’t even know that the symptoms they are experiencing indicate a mental illness. When I was younger, my family and I had no idea what was causing my struggles; we knew something was wrong, but had no context or education on mental illness to be able to connect my symptoms with mental health, or to be able to advocate for me with doctors.

Even when people do get up the courage to visit a medical professional, they are frequently met with stigma; often mental health issues are brushed off, not taken seriously and not referred for further treatment.

This stigma can lead to people suffering mentally, not being able to hold down jobs, being unable to maintain good relationships, to function daily and even result in loss of life through suicide. It’s vital that stigma is faced head on, that awareness is raised, and education is provided in order to save lives and prevent people’s suffering in the future. A big part of fundraising for mental health revolves around charities raising money, or others raising funds to help charities, who provide support and raise awareness.

UK and Ireland campaigns tackling stigma

There are a great many people actively fundraising in aid of mental health charities on GoGetFunding. This inspiring campaign in the UK is raising money to provide gifts to children who are in mental health wards over Christmas.

Often people are not aware of the fact that children can be just as affected by mental illness as adults. Many children will be in mental health units over the holiday period and while this may be best for their care, it can also feel very disheartening to be away from their home at Christmas. A campaign like this provides hope and joy to those children.

In Ireland this innovative campaign is running to support a website called Lust for Life, which provides a community for people who are experiencing mental health issues to share their stories, to break down stigma, to let others know that they are not alone and to provide support for those who are struggling. They have health professionals who provide tools for therapy and education such as online courses. Their campaign has been very successful so far and they continue to do amazing work for those in the mental health community.

Mental health in the Philippines

In the Philippines access to mental health professionals is extremely limited; this article explains that in the Philippines “mental health remains poorly resourced: only 3–5% of the total health budget is spent on mental health”. Stigma is at its height around mental illness and the risk of suicide is particularly high because of this. A lot of our campaigns in the Philippines are charities or organizations trying to reduce this stigma and provide support, as well as individuals who need help to afford their mental health treatment.

This wonderful campaign, by a courageous woman named Ma Katrina Madriaga, is trying to change this stigma for those who have been through similar struggles as she has. She is raising money to create an organization that will help rape victims connect with each other and provide the psychological support that they need. This is a beautiful way to turn such a traumatic experience into a way to help others and is just one inspirational way that changes lives.

In the Philippines, cultural perceptions can play a part in stigma around mental health. This article explains that “There is a cultural drive to ‘save face’ when there is a threat to or loss of one’s social position, and as such, Filipinos may have difficulty in admitting to mental health problems or seeking help.”

This woman is tackling that stigma and speaking out to raise awareness, stating that her family and those in her social circle will judge her for speaking out, that they will “probably tell me to “choose only what to share.” I do. I do choose. And I choose to let people know that we all have battles to face every day, but we are not and will never be alone.” This beautiful statement touched my soul; it’s this sort of courage that can really make a difference.

Just one person speaking their truth can influence others to do so and can reach someone who may be feeling alone. It could even save a life. With the help of GoGetFunding this woman’s campaign is raising awareness and raising funds to pay for her own mental health treatment so that she can survive and live the life she deserves.

Tips for raising money for mental health treatment

  • Tell your story in detail: Explain your situation and your mental health history in as much detail as you feel comfortable with, or that of the organization you are raising money for; this helps your audience to build trust in you and connect more with your campaign.


  • Include your diagnosis: If your campaign is for yourself, including your diagnosis can allow those who read your campaign to better understand what you are going through and can help to make your situation more clear. Only do so if you feel comfortable with sharing this.


  • Use a title that attracts attention: Keeping the title of your campaign short yet snappy is helpful; including words that will give the audience an insight as to what your campaign is about will encourage people to read further.


  • Ask for help from loved ones: Running a campaign requires work to promote it and keep it going in order to be successful; if you’re mentally vulnerable at the time of your campaign or even just busy, ask for help from someone you trust.


  • Use pictures and videos: If you feel comfortable using pictures and even making a video about your story, it can help to connect with the audience on a more personal level. Try not to worry about how you present yourself, just be true to who you are and speak from your heart.


  • Promote your campaign: Sharing your campaign link through social media sites and passing on the message through word of mouth can help to raise the profile of your fundraising campaign. Remember that the majority of the people who donate will know you, or know your friends and family, so this is a great way to connect with them more and even get them involved.


  • Use the update section: On your campaign page with our site you will find an update section; this is a really great place to let your audience know how the campaign is going and even how you are feeling about it, to keep them involved. Be as interactive as you feel able with this.

  • Use incentives for donors that suit your budget: Offering incentives and rewards for donors can be a great way to motivate them to donate and to keep them feeling part of the campaign, but if you’re struggling financially you might feel that you can’t offer rewards. Don’t worry, they don’t have to involve a financial aspect! You could handmake things to send donors; you could make personal videos to thank them; you could craft emails or write letters, basically anything that lets them know their help is valued.

  • Include your diagnosis: If your campaign is for yourself, including your diagnosis can allow those who read your campaign to better understand what you are going through and can help to make your situation more clear. Only do so if you feel comfortable with sharing this.

  • Talk about it with your therapist: If you have a psychiatrist, a therapist, a community psychiatric nurse or any other mental health professional you see regularly and trust, talk about your campaign with them if it’s for your own mental health care. If you are worried, this can help to get things off your chest and give you some reassurance. Keeping your mental health professionals up to date about what is happening in your life is important, and you never know they may be able to direct you to services that could help you out.

  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself: Remember that your campaign is there to help you with your mental health, not to be detrimental to it. Take breaks when you need it; don’t feel pressured to go beyond your boundaries in regards to how much you share or your level of functioning; if you feel triggered take a step back and remember that even if you don’t reach your goal, GoGetFunding allows you to keep all of the money that you have raised. You will even be assigned a fundraising coach to help you with your campaign; ensure you reach out to them if you need assistance.

Crowdfunding websites can change people’s lives

Living with a mental illness is really difficult. It’s hard enough without having to worry about how to get treatment, the stigma you will face and how to afford medical costs, but there is hope! Not only can GoGetFunding provide a platform for those who need help with medical costs to actually buy their mental health medication and access appropriate treatment, our site can also help raise awareness and combat stigma.

If you’re living with mental illness right now, please know that you’re not alone; there is no shame in reaching out for help, whether it’s to talk to someone, to ask your doctor for assistance or to launch your fundraiser to afford your therapy. You can do this and treatment does help – don’t give up, this world needs you.



References

Mental Health in Family Medicine, Rachel Jenkins, Jayan Mendis, Sherva Cooray, Marius Cooray, (2012), “Integration of mental health into primary care in Sri Lanka”

BJPsych International, John Lally, John Tully, Rene Samaniego, (2019), “Mental health services in the Philippines”

The World Health Organization, World Health Report (2010), “Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage”

The World Health Organization, World Health Report (2001), “Mental disorders affect one in four people”

Mental Health Foundation, (2019), “Mental health statistics: poverty”

Mental Health Foundation, (2019), “Mental health statistics: people seeking help”

Mental Health Foundation, (2019), “Mental health statistics: UK and world wide”

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