In 1992, October 10th was World Mental Health Day. In the twenty-nine years since its inception, this day is still well known to spread awareness on mental health issues. It is a day in which people express their experiences with mental health. Every year a “theme” is introduced that is an issue regarding mental health. These themes help people understand what the community is going through. These themes are ‘women and mental health,’ ‘teens and mental health,’ ‘suicide prevention,’ and even ‘mental health in the workplace.’
This year with COVID-19, many people encountered bad mental health days due to isolation and loss– such as health workers, students, and people who live alone or suffer from substance abuse. Those people are brought awareness on this day for their efforts to keep going and help others know it’s common to struggle. We also recognize how people with disorders have been affected by the pandemic and how the rates of declining mental health have gone up significantly.
Many leaders have come together to show others the need to scale up any mental health resources at all levels in these dire times. A WHO survey conducted in mid-2020 showed that services for mental, neurological, and substance abuse illnesses were affected by COVID-19.
Though there is a positive side to this, more people are coming out with their stories, and it helps others understand that they are not alone. Many resources recommend the following tips on what to do to improve your mental health.
- Take time to unwind or relax: taking a break from work or socializing is vital as it rests your mind. This could also include taking a break off social media. More than 69% of adults and 81% of teens use social media daily, and studies have shown that this has increased the rates of depression, anxiety, and self-image issues. By taking a break, you are preventing yourself from digital breakdown.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: From telling a friend to telling a guidance counselor, by asking for help, they could contact someone with professional experience, or they might be able to give you advice on how to treat your disorder.
- Staying connected with a friend: During the pandemic, most people could not see others for months due to quarantine and strict regulations. However, regulations have lifted so that people can once again socialize and be compassionate about how they feel. Overall, it is imperative to support each other in recovering from something that changed the world.
For more information and resources about the World Health Organization’s “World Mental Health Day,” go to the WHO’s website where you will find videos, book suggestions, and more!
Image credits: Colorado Public Radio, Mental Health Foundation