January 22nd, is “Hi, How Are You?” Day, a global day of mental health awareness. Mental illness can expose challenges in personal relationships. And it’s way more common than you might think. One in five Americans experience some form of mental illness. If acknowledged and treated, success rates for achieving mental health are as common as other health issues.
So often in relationships we get bogged down with our own situations, deadlines, and the busyness of our own lives. We might miss the warning signs that someone we care about is struggling.
To destigmatize and normalize the struggles millions face every day, the Hi, How Are you Project launched last year in Austin, Texas. The idea is simple. You’re encouraged to check in on a neighbor, friend, co-worker, family member or loved one today and ask, “Hi, How Are You?” – and to really mean it and listen.
The mission is to remove the stigma and shame around mental illness, so people will feel open to communicate.
“Communication is the key to healthy relationships. Checking in by asking, “How are you,” and truly listening can make all of the difference in the world to your partner’s mental health,” says Kelleher International CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews.
As matchmakers, listening is one of the most critical components of our craft. If you’re looking for love then you understand the emotional roller coaster of dating. To maintain optimum mental health it’s important to verbalize when you’re feeling down in the process. It’s important to deal with any negative emotions as they come up for you – rejection, fear, abandonment, anger – they’re all very reasonable feelings and nothing you should tamp down and ignore.
Learning to verbalize and deal with emotions makes you a better partner and creates healthy relationships. In a romantic partnership, the “Hi, how are you?” check in should happen regularly.
“Make room for big talk in your life! It’s so important to normalize the challenges we all face processing our feelings around situations and relationships,” Amber adds. “These deeper conversations are necessary to process and move through times of struggle. By having the opportunity to talk things through, we emerge stronger and more resilient.”
So, on this global day of mental health awareness, Kelleher International challenges you to connect with the important relationships in your life.
Don’t text. Pick up the phone or show up and ask someone you love, “Hi, how are you?”
And then we’d love to know how your personal Hi, How Are You Project goes. Please share your stories in the comments section below.
Sending love and virtual hugs,
P.S. Learn more about the Hi, How Are You Project, so named for the iconic friendly frog mural in Austin, TX, painted by Daniel Johnston – himself a world-renowned musician and visual artist despite his own struggles with mental health issues.