On October 10th, 2020, people from all over the world celebrated World Mental Health Day. On this day, we will remember those who have or had mental health problems and help them get better.
How World Mental Health Day got started
World mental health day was created by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992.
- WHO is a partner of World Mental Health Day, and every year it produces materials about mental health problems and their solutions. For example, they have a poster showing the different ways people can solve their problems.
- The five options are: ‘Seek Professional Help,’ ‘Talk to Others,’ ‘Take Action,’ ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ or ‘Treat Yourself.’ I think this list shows us that there are many things we can do if we want to get help for our mental health problems.
- World mental health day is a topic that has been on the rise in recent years. As a society, we recognize the need and importance of mental health awareness and accept those who have experienced mental illness.
- Activists play an essential role in this discussion. Mental health activists can be moms, dads, teachers, or anyone else who wants to make a difference for themselves and others with mental illnesses.
Why World Mental Health day matters
Mental illness affects many people yet gets little recognition and social acceptance. According to Wikipedia, “mental disorder is a generic term that refers to any behavioral or psychological pattern that causes significant distress or impairment in personal functioning.”
- Mental disorders can have various symptoms, which are related to anxiety disorders (OCD), eating disorders (anorexia nervosa), depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more.
- Regarding suicide rates specifically: 1 suicide every 40 seconds; someone dies from suicide EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!
- Participate in World Suicide Prevention Day by raising awareness about suicide prevention.
- The WHO predicts that by 2020 depression will be second only to heart disease as the leading cause of disability.
- The World Health Organization states that by 2020 Depression will be second only to Heart Disease as the leading cause of disability. Millions of people suffer from mental illnesses worldwide, including stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression, caused by environmental factors like family issues, work, school problems, or personal relationship struggles.
- While these disorders can make life difficult for those who have them, they also affect others with a mental illness; friends, coworkers, and family members because they struggle in their day-to-day living due to their psychiatric conditions.
How to get involved
Please SHARE this post on your Facebook timeline to spread awareness about Mental Illness: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, OCD, or any other mental illness afflicting an individual. And most importantly, HELP that one person suffering in silence.
- The recent #Mental Health Awareness Month was a step in the right direction to help people with mental illnesses feel comfortable sharing their stories and getting counseling (which is sometimes necessary), but this doesn’t fix everyone’s problems.
- Mental conditions can be managed through medications, such as antidepressants and anti-psychotics, when it comes to cases of psychotic disorders or autism; however, depression is not something you can “take a pill for.”
- Depression can be treated with various cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy, or interpersonal psychotherapy. These therapies are also sometimes necessary to help people with mental illnesses who cannot find relief in any other waypoint them in the right direction for recovery.
- The management of mental illness is a delicate science.
- While many more strides can be made towards helping those affected by mental health disorders, #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth was a step in the right direction to help people feel comfortable enough to share their stories and get counseling that they may need.
A hashtag dedicated to the loss of Prince Rogers Nelson (April 7th) and Chester Bennington from Linkin Park (July 20th), both 43 years old. According to The New York Post, “It’s no secret that Prince struggled with drugs — particularly painkillers.
- It wasn’t until an autopsy was performed that it became clear just how much he had abused these substances: Nearly every organ in his body showed signs of inflammation or scarring associated with heavy drug use.”
- On July 20th, Chester Bennington committed suicide at the age of 41 years old. Mental Health Awareness Month is a large step forward for those struggling with mental health disorders because it helps people deal with their conditions and find comfort from others who can relate, but even this month doesn’t fit everyone’s problems.
- Another example of someone making change happen is Amy Bleakley-Brownlee, a mom activist from Philadelphia whose son had his first psychotic break when he was just 16 years old.
- After her son’s diagnosis, she founded The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalysis, which provides valuable support services such as psychoeducation groups and therapy sessions to individuals experiencing psychosis or their families.
Moving forward together
Mental health is crucial to living a healthy life, decision-making, and handling stressful situations. Sometimes, stressful events such as relationship concerns, money issues, and the trauma of losing jobs impact our mental health.
- According to a survey, 1 in every four people have faced such issues, and unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak severely impacted people’s mental health.
- Social isolation, unemployment, fear of contracting the virus, and the sorrow of losing beloved ones further exasperated the existing mental crisis.
- Considering the high prevalence of mental health problems, many activist groups are working to spread awareness. They are developing apps, founding non-profit organizations, coordinating drives for fundraising, and building support networks to help people cope with the mental crisis.
Mental health activists
Alison Darcy, an American psychologist, and a mental health activist. As a founder of the mental health care firm Woebot, she is devoted to making mental health facilities accessible to everyone. As an advocate of mental health problems, Darcy is on the mission of eliminating all hurdles that hinder one’s access to quality health services.
- In 2017 Darcy also founded “Woebot,” an artificial intelligence-powered app to help users monitor their moods and manage their mental health.
Bhargavi Davar is an Indian mental health activist and Director of The Bapu Trust, dedicated to promoting India’s mental health.
- Being a part of an activist group, Davar has published several journal articles, including the Mental health of Indian women to recover people who have a mental illness.
Jonny Benjamin MBE is a blogger, vlogger, and British mental health campaigner. He started a social media campaign called Find ‘Mike’ in January 2014 to look for a stranger who had spoken to him about taking his own life in 2008. The purpose of the campaign was to educate people about mental illness.
- In 2016 Jonny launched ThinkWell, a mental health program to educate children about the significance of mental health at the school level. He also wrote two books in 2017 to raise awareness regarding the mental crisis.
- In 2019, along with Neil, Jonny unveiled his latest mental health charity program, “Beyond Shame Beyond Stigma,” to provide young people and their families mental health support.
Gabby Frost is a 20-year-old rising junior at Drexel University who initiated a suicide prevention program. Through the program, the mental health activist connects teenagers and adults to help them restoring mental health.
- Besides the project, she regularly tweets to promote mental health education and awareness worldwide.
Mental health is essential to lead a happy and successful life. These personalities inspire everyone to step forward and help those struggling with mental issues resume normal living.
World Mental health day is essential to everyone. It affects our lives in a way that may not be immediately clear, but it does, and we need to get involved with educating ourselves and each other about mental health conditions. We can help those struggling or find themselves dealing with the stigma of mental illnesses feel less alone.