Every year, millions of people are confronted with the reality of living with a mental illness. Mental illness impacts everyone, whether directly or indirectly through family, friends, or colleagues. Despite the scope and prevalence of mental health, stigma and misunderstanding are unfortunately common. Mental illnesses are essential to talk about all year but recognising them during Mental Illness Awareness Week gives activists a focused opportunity to join together as one united voice.
The overall goal of Mental Illness Awareness Week is to increase global awareness of mental health issues and organise support for mental health initiatives. It allows all stakeholders focusing on mental health issues to discuss their efforts and develop ways on what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people all around the world.
From the outside, these circumstances can be difficult to comprehend. There’s a propensity to use morally charged language to describe individuals who are dealing with mental health issues. However, such techniques are at best ineffective. As a result, this week is an opportunity for everyone to work together to perceive mental health in a new light. In a philosophical sense, the event is an attempt to change people’s perceptions. It provides an opportunity to comprehend the situation of victims and create solutions, rather than criticising the individual for their actions.
During this pandemic, millions of people have struggled with mental illness or experienced a loved one struggle. And we’ve seen that the help we all need isn’t as easily accessible as it should be. We must seize this opportunity to intensify the campaign for mental health for them, and for you. This entails pushing for change, equality, respect, and life-changing assistance.
It is noted that there are great mental health charities. Counselling, advocacy, and helping individuals are all ways that mental health charities provide information and resources to those who need it the most. However, these charities’ efforts would not be feasible without the help of others. Mind, The Giving Machine, Rethink and Young Minds are just a few of the great UK charities that provide help for free.
Ways to improve your mental health:
Mental health fluctuates, and that’s normal. It is something that constantly needs to be worked on. According to the NHS, there are 5 ways to improve your mental health.
- Be physically active.
- Give to others.
- Learn new skills.
- Connect with other people.
- Practice mindfulness – this basically means paying greater attention to the present moment. This encompasses your ideas and feelings, as well as your body and the environment.
Ways to help others with mental health issues:
Every year, approximately one out of every four people suffer from mental illness, thus the majority of us will know someone who has struggled with their mental health. We all experience anxiety, stress, and depression at times, but it becomes a problem when these feelings worsen, last a long time, or interfere with our daily lives. It’s important to offer support to those around you who may be going through a difficult time. There are various ways to do so, these include:
- Listening – this usually tends to make people open up more as they feel more accepted.
- Be patient- you will not always be aware of the entire situation. There could be a variety of reasons why people have found it difficult to request help. Being present can be beneficial to someone who wants to open up later.
- Don’t be forceful- you should never push someone to talk to you or seek treatment, and you should never go to a doctor on their behalf. This may make people feel uneasy, give them less power, and make them less able to speak up for themselves.
- Reassurance is key- it’s a major step when someone expresses their concerns for the first time. It’s important to acknowledge this and reassure them. Tell them you’ll be there to listen if they need to speak.
To celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week, you could indulge in some self-pampering or take a well-deserved vacation (or perhaps a staycation). Working life can be demanding. Vacationing for a week, on the other hand, allows you to recharge your batteries and give your life a new lease on life. Additionally, you may go to mental health events and share information with your friends and family on social media.
“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared and anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you human.” — Lori Deschene