PEERS Perspectives is a blog series that offers thoughts and reflections from our staff and community members on mental health, current events, and the ways they affect our lives.

Today’s post on the current state of our society brought on by COVID-19 crisis is written by Communications Coordinator Joshua Walters

Mental Health Awareness Month: Being Seen and Heard 

It’s the day after Memorial Day, and in our current social setting it’s easy to forget yearly occurrences that are usually structured with a day off or celebration. Last month, it may have slipped your mind that it was Easter, or maybe you weren’t into another Zoom call for Passover. In May we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month across the country, and in Alameda County, it’s a time for increased social awareness as well as yearly festivities. However, the We Move For Health event has been canceled, along with everything else this year. This time of year is also a moment of celebration when high school and college students are usually attending graduation ceremonies. Much of the comradery is now unified across the world — it’s almost as if the class of 2020 is attending the same school, the School of the Screen. Drawbacks include the lack of personal touch and really being in the room, while the benefits are that every celebrity under the sun is now speaking at your commencement. 

Much of this brings up the question of how we can be seen and heard as individuals during this time. A phone call is only voice, but now it is expected that you will be able to see who you’re talking to; more digitized proof that you exist, you matter, and you may need to put on some clothes. As the media maker behind the digital presence at PEERS, my pride and joy has been our podcast Mental Health Minute, which just recently made the transition from being audio only to now being animated videos. This makes a huge difference when sharing this piece of media, as people are much more likely to comment and on something they can see as well as hear. 

Check out our suite of animations, thanks to our creative friend Davy Andrek. Thanks to him, our audio has been boosted to the next level. Enjoy them for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond, as we will be releasing them one by one over the summer. 

Keep Cool & Stay Glorious!

Joshua