World Mental Health Awareness Day 10th

I can’t of a better day dedicated to educating and advocating for Mental Health. Most of you know I have Treatment Resitant Bipolar Disorder. Taking care of our Mental Health can be as simple as taking my meds every day, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep. Most importantly is to check in with yourself daily, be brutally honest with yourself and your medical team. It took me years to be honest with my doctor because I was Hypomanic and enjoyed the high. Please remember the higher you go, the harder you fall. 

With so much going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday tasks and have little time to self-check our emotional wellbeing.

World Mental Health Day on 10 October reminds us to pause and think about our mental health, and what we can do to protect it. 

Poor mental health can be prevented if we are supported to live well.  While we need government action to fix many of the root causes of mental health problems, such as poverty, poor housing and job insecurity, there are things we can do individually to help ourselves and the people we care about to have good mental health.  

Whilst the pandemic has, and continues to, take its toll on our mental health, the ability to reconnect through World Mental Health Day 2022 will provide us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health.

Many aspects of mental health have been challenged; and already before the pandemic in 2019 an estimated one in eight people globally were living with a mental disorder. At the same time, the services, skills and funding available for mental health remain in short supply, and fall far below what is needed, especially in low and middle income countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fueling short- and long-term stresses and undermining the mental health of millions. Estimates put the rise in both anxiety and depressive disorders at more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.

World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide. In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.

We all agree that one of the most important aspects of a ‘good life’ is our overall health. A meaningful definition of health as a ‘healthy state of well‐being’ should address the whole person, ‘the general condition of the body and mind’. Studies show that physical and mental well‐being have a major impact on one another – cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, cardiovascular or respiratory disease should not be viewed in isolation from the possible mental and emotional issues of an individual.

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is a critical move forward in drawing attention to the effect of long term illness on patients with major chronic disease and their families, as well as its importance to mental health advocates. Addressing mental health issues will lead to better outcomes, better compliance, and improved quality of life for people who suffer from chronic illnesses. Campaign materials will focus on proven strategies for promoting emotional and mental well‐being while living with long term physical illness, and the role of primary care in improving access for those who suffer from mental health and long term health conditions. A special call to action section has been written by seven international health professionals, intended to show us the way forward.

As we all emerge from the pandemic, it is clear that no nation was ready for the associated mental health crisis and the effect of long COVID. In addition, many health systems are ill-prepared to deal with the physical and mental health challenges faced by their populations. On top of the pandemic, the world is also struggling to cope with effect of the war in Ukraine, the consequential displacement, climate emergency and a cost-of-living crisis, all of which have consequences for the well-being of world citizens.

Rates of people experiencing suicidal ideas are increasing globally and people with lived experiences of mental health, their families and other populations continue to tell us that their mental health well-being is not always at the forefront of governments, those who pay for services or society at large. However, we can all play our part in increasing awareness about what preventive mental health interventions work.

Melinda

References:

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2022

Wikipedia

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2939461/

https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/23019781.world-mental-health-day-awareness/

https://www.wpanet.org/post/world-mental-health-day-10th-october-2022

 

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