In October 2013, the Pink October Campaign inspired a group of psychologists in Brazil:
“By the turn of the year, people tend to spontaneously assess their own lives. January, the first month of the year, is therapeutic in its nature. So, why don’t we leverage the spirit of change to raise awareness to Mental Health topics, encouraging people to think about the meaning of their lives and their existence, the quality of their relationships, their emotional balance, and whether they are truly happy.”
Considering the strategic position and the introspective profile of January, the idea was to call the attention of the public to psychological and existential issues, giving them the confidence they need to reassess their current emotional state and invest more in Mental Health throughout the year and their daily lives.
This is the story behind the White January Campaign – an wholeheartedly movement aimed to bring about recognition on education and prevention regarding Mental Health issues. The initiative was firstly designed by psychologists and brought to life by students and healthcare professionals.
What we did
The campaign had three editions up until now (January 2014, 2015, and 2016). Psychology students and practitioner psychologists have held hundreds of pocket talks, conversation rounds, group dynamics, and urban interventions on Mental Health topics in public and private venues. The White January Campaign first took place in Uberlandia, a municipality in southeastern Brazil, and went viral throughout the country thanks to collaborative and organic efforts of students and healthcare professionals.
Pocket Talks were held in healthcare and school facilities, restaurants, bus stops, public transportation terminals, business offices, conference rooms, public and private universities, malls, churches and temples, spiritist meetings, public squares, and for people waiting in lines for different kinds of services, among others
In addition, the social buzz was created with hundreds of online posts and dozens of interviews for TV channels, radio stations and printed media along the three editions of the Campaign – all in the name of promoting Mental Health in our daily lives and raising awareness on such topics in our society.
The importance of the White January Campaign
According to healthcare authorities across the globe and the World Health Organization (WHO), depression, anxiety and suicide rates have grown exponentially around the world.
In this context, the White January Campaign is aimed to be an important preventive action regarding these issues and, above all, a necessary campaign focused on promoting Mental Health in our daily lives as well as democratization of all related knowledge.
The goals of the White January Campaign
The 5 chief points of the White January Campaign are:
1) Turn January into a strategic landmark so that people in the whole world can reflect, discuss and plan actions to implement Mental Health and Happiness in their lives throughout the year;
2) Raise awareness on Mental Health on our daily life;
3) Leverage the beginning of a new year to encourage people to think about their lives, their relationships and the things they’ve been doing to be truly happy;
4) Draw people’s attention to think about what they need to change in their lives in order to be really happy;
5) Show people that it is possible to end old cycles and open new ones in the path of Happiness for their lives – after all, new year, new life, new mind!
How can White January help people
1) Encouraging them to think: Every year has a brand new start, so why can’t I do the same with my life?
2) Inviting them to understand: Like the years, life is made of cycles – we must end cycle of what is holding us back and open new cycles that will make us happy!
3) Making them realize: The new year is a symbolic opportunity created by Humanity so we can stop for a moment and think about the humankind – this is a good time to do the same for our own lives!
4) Encouraging them to answer: January opens the doors of a brand new year to us all – is it really necessary to repeat the choices and/or conditions that kept us from being truly happy in the past cycles?
5) Motivating them to do the math: A new 12-month cycle has just opened ahead of us – there’s plenty of time for any of us to do what it takes to be happy and to help others in this quest.
A Campaign on behalf of the mother of all forms of Health: the Mental Health
That being said, the White January Campaign aims to turn the month of January into a milestone for people to reflect upon, plan and guide strategic actions to promote Mental Health and Happiness in the daily situations of people across the globe – especially for those who never had the opportunity to hear about such topics.
Join us in our quest in the name Mental Health: invite colleagues, healthcare professionals and practitioner psychologists of your circles and encourage them to implement activities during the month of January 2017 to inspire people to discover a new way to look at their lives.
If you want to share your own initiatives or need additional material to spread the word in your own language, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be very glad to have you onboard. A healthy mind means a healthy life!
The White January Campaign turns January into a strategic moment for all people to reflect, discuss and plan actions to promote Mental Health and Happiness in their daily lives. Join us and help us spread the word!