Mental Health Action Day 2023

Move with Music for Mental Health Action Day 2023!

On May 18, Our Minds Matter (OMM) partnered with MTV Entertainment Studios to encourage schools to “Move with Music” for Mental Health Action Day (MHAD) 2023! 

OMM was 1 of 22 nonprofit organizations selected by MTV Entertainment Studios to receive an MHAD grant this year. MHAD grants support efforts to turn mental health awareness and discussion into action — OMM received a grant of $5,000. This past May, the OMM network took action through movement, encouraging the OMM network to “Move with Music” for Mental Health Action Day.

34 schools participated, representing 10 states — District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. There were also 24 non-school participants, including representatives of community centers, after-school programming, and other individual supporters.

In participating schools, OMM club members led a pause in their school day through a school-wide announcement. Students began the announcement with a description of Mental Health Action Day and positive affirmations like “I am loved and I’m doing my best” and “I can make a difference in my community by supporting my mental health and that of others.” Schools then played a song over the loudspeaker like Beyonce’s “Break My Soul” — a selection from MTV’s Hidden Healers Self Care playlist. (Hidden Healers is a collective of mental health advocates working toward accessible mental health care for BIPOC and other marginalized communities. Learn more about their initiative here!)

During the school-wide pause, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to move with the music in whatever way they felt comfortable. Participants embraced movement and music as a way of relieving stress and connecting with one another. While the school-wide pauses were generally 5–10 minutes, clubs were welcome to extend or shorten this time.

Examples of movement included dancing or singing along to the music, chatting and laughing with friends, or coloring. Participants could be seen moving in their classrooms, down the hallways and in school common spaces. At the end of the pause, each student received a self-care card with suggested action steps of how they can care for themselves and others in their community.

Our Minds Matter is so grateful to everyone who moved with music for Mental Health Action Day 2023! The OMM Team would like to extend a special thank you to MTV Entertainment Studios for supporting OMM clubs through the MHAD 

P.S. Head over to MTV’s official recap video to check out the impact of the growing coalition of more than 1750 nonprofits, brands, government agencies, and influential leaders from more than 32 countries that spread the message that, just like our physical health, we can take actions to improve our mental health.

Mental Health Action Day 2024 will be Thursday, May 16, we hope you’ll take action again with us!