The theme for World Mental Health Day this year is “make mental health & wellbeing for all a global priority”. Organisations have been campaigning for 70+ years in the fight for equality between mental health and physical health treatment. This campaign will allow the opportunity for every individual at every level to re-evaluate efforts to protect and improve mental health across the globe.
We all have a part to play
We have the power to be part of a movement of change. There are ways that we too can make a change in how ourselves and the people around us view and treat mental health to join the campaign to make mental health and wellbeing a priority at every level, including for ourselves.
One of the biggest barriers to reaching out for mental health treatment is stigma and discrimination.
We all have mental health, purely and simply because we all have a mind and the ability to experience emotion. In the same way that we all have a physical body and can notice changes in our physical health.
So why aren’t we talking about it?
The only way we’re going to reduce the stigma unfortunately still so heavily attached to mental health is by having conversations about it, creating a culture where it is okay to not be okay and it is alright not to be alright.
Talk to the people around you, how are they? No really, how are they?
When was the last time you sat down with them to ask how they really are and what is going on for them at the moment. Spare your time, your empathy and your ears to listen and you could really make a difference. Providing a positive safe space for someone to share how they’re feeling is invaluable and could lead onto them reaching out for some vital support.
Reducing the stigma around professional treatment for mental health is key too. Reaching out to talk to a professional about how we feel is a positive pro-active step to looking after the health of our mind. In the same way, that none of us would hesitate to go to A&E with a broken bone! Let’s start to see it in that way, reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.
In this busy, stressful, fast paced world that we all live in, it is so important that we take time to tune in to how we are. If someone asks you if you’re okay, take them up on their offer of an ear to listen, find someone you trust that you can talk to, reach out to a helpline or a professional. It is good to talk. Recognising and reaching out for any support we may need is something we should be proud of.
Some of the resources below have some great tips on looking after ourselves and our mental health.
Let’s use World Mental Health Day 2022 as a springboard to prioritise our mental health and the mental health of those around us and be part of this global campaign.
Helplines & Sources of Support
NHS – Mental health – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
NHS Every Mind Matters – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Samaritans – www.samaritans.org
MIND – www.mind.org.uk
Calm – www.thecalmzone.net/
Give us a Shout – https://giveusashout.org/