As you may or may not know, October 10th is World Mental Health Day! This year’s theme focuses on mental health care for all and how we can make it a living reality. In today’s post, we would like to take a look at the importance of this theme as well as give you a few ideas on how you can help out.
The importance of Mental Health
The significance of this particular World Mental Health Day is far greater due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The past year has been a challenge to each and every one of us in its own way and therefore, has impacted people’s mental health on quite a large scale.
The World Health Organisation recognises specific groups that have been particularly affected such as; healthcare workers, frontline workers, students, people who live alone and people with pre-existing mental health issues. Additionally, due to social distancing and continuous lockdowns in different countries, services that assist with mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders have been disrupted.
However, this year’s theme accentuates that Mental Health Care should be accessible for all and that includes yourself, your friends, family and work colleagues as well. A recent study that took place in the United States showed that signs of mild depression had increased by 20% within the test group since the start of the pandemic. This means that anyone within your circle, workspace, neighbourhood or even within your family may be experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or self-harming thoughts.
5 ways you can take part in World Mental Health Day
Start with You!
Spread the Word
Mental Health has always seemed to have this stigma around it. Let’s work together to break this stigma and raise awareness about mental health issues as well as the importance of mental health in general.
Bring the importance of Mental Health to the workplace.
Try to set up a wellness activity that focuses on mental health for you and your colleagues. Or work on some team building to give your colleagues a sense of community within the business. This will help both you and your co-workers feel that their mental health is of importance and together you can create a safe space that will ultimately lead to a happier work environment.
Start at Home
Check-in on your loved ones. Encourage them to talk about their feelings. If not with you, then someone else they trust and feel comfortable with. If you see they are struggling, then suggest a gratitude journal, encourage them to work on getting enough sleep, find a way to incorporate some form of creative expression. All of these tricks help boost ones mental health. And just showing them that you are there for support will already help in a big way.
Take part in one of the official World Mental Health Day events
Two virtual events are happening this year that allows you to participate on the 10th of October from the comfort of your own home. The World Health Organisation is hosting an online event this year. The Big Event for Mental Health is global advocacy on mental health and illnesses. Join world leaders, mental health experts and the WHO staff as they showcase all that is being done to reduce mental illness and abuse of alcohol and drugs around the world. Additionally, the World Federation for Mental Health is hosting an online art exhibition to highlight the healing effects of art and mental illness.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”Maya Angelou
So, whether you are attending a virtual event, helping loved ones boost their mental health or just turning inwards to focus on some self-care, let’s focus on creating awareness around World Mental Health Day this year, on October 10th.
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