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October 10th is World Mental Health Day

Posted on October 10th, 2019


*Please be aware the following post contains information about mental health and an in-depth look into suicide and suicide prevention*

 
What is so important about mental health?

Our mental health is just like our physical health and it is vitally important that we take care of it. Being mentally healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a mental health problem. Sometimes a situation or life event that one person may be able to bounce back from may deeply affect another and it’s important to recognise that everyone is different. Your mental health can also change throughout the duration of your lifetime as you encounter certain challenges or life events meaning.

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. One in four people in any given year experience mental health problems, ranging from the most common such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Some individuals are able to manage these on a daily basis however others need more support and that’s where the importance of understanding mental health and how it affects us is so important.

 

What is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and to ensure that those affected know how to get the support they need.

This year’s focus is Suicide & Suicide Prevention. Every year, up to 800,000 take their own life over the globe with many more considering or attempting to take their own life. Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds over the globe.

Suicidal feelings can range from fleeting thoughts about ending your life or that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods, means or specific plans to take your own life.

Despite the impact that suicide can have on those affected, there is still a huge stigma behind suicide and mental health in general. A staggering 9 in 10 people who experience mental health problems have reported facing discrimination as a result (such as bullying, workplace discrimination and alienation from family, friends and their community).  63% of these reported that this stigma is actually worse than the mental health issues they face and devastatingly, 27% said that this stigma had made them want to give up on life.

 

How can you get help as well as support those affected?

The more awareness we can raise about mental health problems, the more informed people will become which in turn will help to reduce the stigma and discrimination faced by those affected.

One way to help with your general mental wellbeing is to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Have you been been feeling down more often than not recently? Do you feel like you’re struggling and can’t cope? If so, it’s important to seek help and guidance from family, friends, colleagues and your GP.  The NHS has released an interactive quiz which will help tailor a simple Mind Plan for you to help ease any issues you’re facing. The charity, Mind, also have a number of great resources to help you improve your mental wellbeing, whether you have been diagnosed with a mental health problem or not. In addition to this, they have information on staying well at work along with tips for everyday living.

Another way to support our mental health is to check in with those we are close to or interact with. Some people may look like they have everything they could ever ask for but still be struggling with their thoughts and mental wellbeing. By simply asking people how they’re doing and opening up a conversation, you’re showing them that you care about how they feel and that you support them. Sometimes this small gesture could have been what they needed that day in particular.

*If you feel like you have an urgent mental health issue, please dial 111 and select option 2 or call the Samaritans on 116 123*
 
Statistics and information taken from Mind along with the Mental Health Foundation
 
 

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