World Mental Health Day takes place every year on the 10th of October. To educate and make an end to the social stigma of mental health a special international day was created 70 years ago for global mental health education and awareness. Every year on this day thousands of supporters bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide. Some countries not only dedicate a day but rather an entire week to the awareness.
WHAT IS A MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION?
There are many different types of mental health conditions out there. Two of the more common ones that you may have heard of are Depression and Anxiety. A mental health condition is when a person’s cognition, emotional regulation or behaviour does not function properly. The good news is effective prevention and treatment options do exist.
The following are more of the known mental illnesses, to name a few:
• Bipolar Disorder
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Eating Disorders
• Disruptive behaviour and dissocial disorders
Did you know? 1 in every 8 people in the world live with a mental health condition.
HOW TO COPE IF YOU HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION?
First, we must know a little more about our personal mental health. The more information we have, the easier it is to cope with the effects.
Start with the following baby steps and see if this will improve your mood:
• Maintain your friendships. Do not alienate those that love and care for you.
• Get regular exercise. Walking alone or with a friend is wonderful exercise. Nature walking is best.
• Keep a balanced diet. Cut the sweet tooth!
• Ask for help and accept it when it is offered. People really do care.
• Think of yourself as your own best friend. You ARE unique and special!
• Plan something to look forward to, whether it is to go out to dinner with your friends or family or plan a holiday.
Seek professional help when you experience the following symptoms:
• You struggle to work, parent or keep up at home
• You are unable to handle stress with normal coping strategies
• You have difficulty maintaining a healthy appetite or are experiencing significant weight loss
• You are using drugs or alcohol to cope
• You are engaging in risk-taking behaviours
• You are unable to focus
• You have a lack of interest in activities that once brought you enjoyment
• You get panic attacks
• You have developed a fear of being around others
• You have a mistrust of people that you normally confided in or counted on
• You are restless or agitated
• You experience anger and have violent outbursts
Remember, you are not alone.