“I am bipolar.” I never thought about it before, but for people who say those words, it could sound as if they’re saying that they themselves are bipolar! I’ve just been reading about the remarkable life of Hakeem Rahim, founder and CEO of I Am Acceptance, a nonprofit that promotes mental health and empowers students to pursue and maintain mental well-being.(Image: iStock/tommaso79)
Rahim himself has struggled with mental illness, but rather than say he “is” bipolar, he says he is acceptance.
I’ve written before about supporting the mental health needs specifically of students of color. The need is great. When my daughter was in college, one of her classmates threw himself off the roof of one of the campus buildings. Fortunately, he survived.
Mental Health Awareness Week
As reported by the Bloc, a New York-based creative engagement agency, and published on a website of the PR Newswire, Mental Health Awareness Week is Oct. 1–7. I Am Acceptance has kicked off an “I Am Acceptance College Tour” to talk with students about mental wellness. Core to the initiative is its Instagram campaign, @health_esteem.
Here’s more from the website about this much-needed organization:
As Mental Health Awareness Week begins, the Instagram initiative @health_esteem was launched by the New York–based creative engagement agency The Bloc for I Am Acceptance, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote mental health and empower students to take control of their “mental wellness.” The focal point of the organization is its “I Am Acceptance College Tour,” which initiates conversations with students on the topic of mental health in order to educate and empower them to seek support.
The I Am Acceptance philosophy is that everyone deserves to be heard, understood, respected, and accepted.
The @health_esteem Instagram initiative was launched across the country during the back-to-school season. The objective is to hack social media, which can sometimes lead to low self-esteem, to instead build health and self-esteem. The goal is to ignite a movement among college students to pay mental wellness forward.
“I’m on a mission to build acceptance across college campuses. @health_esteem has the potential to virtually ignite and connect students that would leverage the benefits [positives] of social media. We want to give college students an authentic and empowering platform in which to express themselves that will help students lift each other up when they’re feeling down,” says CEO and founder of I Am Acceptance Hakeem Rahim.
The “health esteem” grassroots social initiative was launched on Instagram through its College Acceptance Ambassadors. @health_esteem is a social platform where college students can express themselves freely and feel heard and accepted. They can post their truths that other students can relate to. And they can help build health esteem by liking, commenting, tagging, sharing, and connecting with others to spread mental wellness. The initiative will be ongoing, with the intent to activate a community of students around the country to drive self-acceptance and, ultimately, acceptance of others.