Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.
Today Mental Health issues are just as important and that is why I am posting this today.
World Mental Health day first appeared in 1992 and was an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. It wanted to raise awareness of ALL mental health issues and the support that is available. The fact that we need a day like this proves that while the conversation may have been started, the issue is far from resolved.
So why is it important?
Mixed anxiety and depression is now the most common mental disorder in Britain (and something I have experienced myself) and according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the rate we are going depression will be the leading illness globally by 2030. That’s just over 13 years away making mental health issues more important than ever before.
What’s more, is that more and more young people seem to be having mental health issues with 1 in 5 teenagers experiencing a mental health problem in any given year.
Chances are you know someone or you yourself have suffered from some kind of mental health issue at some point and if not, well it seems it is even more likely to occur in the future.
So What Can I Do?
- Be there. That person who is suffering might not want to/ can’t talk about what is going on. But just having someone there, even if it is on the end of a phone (my friend once told me that it was OK if I just called her and we sat in silence on the phone) will mean the world to that person and eventually they will probably talk and talk to you.
- Make them feel wanted. This is another big one, most people who are suffering from a mental health issue often feel like they are not worth it and they don’t want to waste your time with their stupid little insignificant problems. These problems, however small to you can feel as big a Everest to them so making them feel like you care about them and want them around (even if they just want to sit in the corner all evening and just watch everyone else) will help that day be so bad.
- Head over to here to get some great tips on what NOT to say to someone who has a mental health issue
- And go here for some equally great tips on how you should act around those very same people
- Read. There is loads of great stuff on the internet about things to do/not to do, Accounts from people about what it’s like to live with a mental health issue, advice on where to get support (also see the bottom of this blog for some links), information about the symptoms and causes of the various mental health conditions.
How Can I get Involved in raising awareness?
You could organise your own Tea & Talk event as part of World Mental Health day.
It’s a fairly relaxed kind of fundraiser/awareness raiser where basically you and your friends, family and/or colleagues sit down, have some tea (other hot beverages are available) and talk about mental health.
Yes I know World Mental Health day was yesterday but your mental health is an everyday issue and so you it is perfectly reasonable to hold this on another day. Hell, why not hold several throughout the year and keep yours and everyone else’s mental health in good nick!
But what if I need help now?
Talking to the people closest to you doesn’t always feel like the thing you can do right now. However there are several websites where you can information on where to get help and even sometimes chat to someone online, anonymously. Here are some links;
- Mind, the mental health charity
- SANE, Mental health helpline
- Inspirited Minds, mental health charity that work predominantly with those of the Islamic faith
- The Samaritans
- The Mental Health Foundation