What is World Mental Health Day, and how are people all over the world meant to celebrate it? Continue reading to learn about the importance of mental health awareness as we celebrate this upcoming holiday.
On October 10, 1992, the first World Mental Health Day was observed at the request of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. The celebration’s original objectives were broad mental health advocacy and public education.
Today, the awareness focuses on mental health concerns. This encourages people to discuss them as well as eradicates stigma and discrimination against those with mental illnesses. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has announced the topic for World Mental Health Day 2022: "Make mental health for all a global priority.”
Why Is Mental Health Awareness Important?
Mental illnesses are medical conditions characterized by changes in thinking, behavior, mood, or emotion. Major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and posttraumatic stress disorder are among the most common mental diseases (PTSD).
Mental health awareness reminds us that mental health is equally as important as physical health. This awareness will teach us to be more considerate and compassionate towards people suffering from mental illnesses and help them recover over time.
Mental health awareness and stigma have risen significantly in recent years. This is due in part to how millennials use social media platforms to disseminate awareness and diverse forms of activism that reach multiple generations.
Although some people's awareness and education benefited, it was still insufficient for many. Many people who are battling with their mental health still struggle to be understood and heard. Some universities have worked extra hard to battle stigma on their campuses by educating students about mental illness and showing them how to communicate about it in a way that is both informative and helpful.
Let Us All Help Fight the Stigma
Openly discuss mental health.
Be open to discussion and conversation about mental health in order to raise awareness. Tell others what you know or what your thoughts are about it in terms of informing or providing insights. You'd be shocked at how some people handle such information. Some are confused, while others are skeptical. Even if you only inform one curious individual, you will be of great help. That help will go a long way in the long run.
Advocate the equality of physical and mental illness.
Advocating for the equality of physical and mental disorders is a critical duty that must be addressed. Mental illness is equally as harmful as any physical disease, and it affects people in a multitude of ways. While many people actually believe that physical health is the core of a successful life, let us keep in mind that mental health is the motivator of physical wellbeing. The most effective way to help is to educate yourself on what you can do to help people who are suffering from these conditions.
Be mindful of your words.
Saying regrettable things, yelling at people, making personal insults, degrading, or putting someone down can all result in emotional scars that heal much slower than physical wounds. These problems from the past can take a long time to overcome, with the emotional suffering never completely disappearing. Even if you forget the harsh things you said, the person who received them may remain haunted by what you caused.
Call out those who stigmatize mental health.
In the interest of spreading awareness, those who generalize mental health conditions and spread misinformation should be called out and corrected. These stigmas might potentially worsen the condition of those suffering from mental illnesses and discourage them from having treatment. Addressing stigma is essential for making all communities and individuals safer and healthier. As a result, stigma and discrimination can imprison people in a destructive cycle of suffering.
Important Facts About Mental Illness
The majority of people who suffer from mental illnesses are no more likely to be aggressive than anyone else.
Most people with major mental illnesses are not aggressive, and about 3%-5% of violent acts may be linked to those with serious mental illnesses. In fact, those with serious mental illnesses are more than ten times more likely than the average population to be victims of violent crime. In fact, the majority of people who are diagnosed with mental illness are high-functioning members of society, and most of them are unaware of their condition.
Mental health issues have nothing to do with being lazy or incompetent.
At its core, laziness is the ability to execute a task but choosing not to, whereas depression is a psychiatric disease that requires more than self-determination to overcome. Some of the factors of people who struggle in mental illness are trauma, childhood experiences, biological or genes, or history of abuse. Many individuals who were diagnosed and treated for mental illnesses recovered. Most of these people require help and assistance to fully recover.
As we all know, mental health awareness was not always as prevalent as it is today. As I previously stated, removing stigma is critical to raising mental health awareness. But let us not forget that seeking professional help, which can properly address mental illness, will also be extremely beneficial.
Mental disease is invisible to the naked eye. It is strongly advised that you consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist, if needed. However, keep in mind that these two mental health professionals specialize in different areas. Psychologists are solely concerned with providing talk therapy and administering psychological tests, whereas psychiatrists use medication to treat mental disorders.
Help is always available if you know someone or you yourself are struggling or in a crisis. Call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org. You can also reach: Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741. You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.