Today (10 October) is World Mental Health Day. A day recognised ever year to highlight the importance of looking after our mental health, the support available and what needs to be done to provide more support.
Mental health for all
Everyone has mental health, but it is important to look after your mental wellbeing and seek support if you are experiencing mental health problems. No issue is too small to seek support for whether that is from those around you or a dedicated organisation.
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) exists to highlight the need for mental health support and to raise awareness of mental health problems.
This year’s theme is especially important in breaking down stigma surrounding mental health problems and highlighting the need for equal access to support: Mental health for all.
The theme has in part been picked to reflect the need for greater mental health support in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Extended periods of isolation and reliance on technology to communicate due to the coronavirus pandemic has left more people feeling lonely and raised concerns about mental health in the wake of COVID-19.
This is especially of concern for people who were required to shield and might still feel uneasy about leaving their home in the ongoing situation.
As winter, bad weather and longer nights approach, feelings of loneliness and isolation could be exacerbated. This is why now, more than ever, it is important to recognise the symptoms of different mental health problems and look after the mental wellbeing of yourself an those around you.
We all have mental health and it is just as important as our physical health. Sometimes mental health is referred to as emotional health or wellbeing.
Everyone has times when they feel down, stressed or upset, but most of the time these feelings pass. Sometimes these feelings persist and develop into more serious problems, this can happen to anyone at any time and there isn’t always an obvious reason why.
Each person is different and that’s why changes in mental health can look different in everyone.
Common symptoms of mental health problems include trouble sleeping, changes in daily routine or eating habits, overthinking or feeling paranoid, not wanting to do the things you usually enjoy or feeling down for extended periods of time.
Mental health problems range from worries we all have as part of day-to-day life to serious, long-term conditions. You might not always realise when someone is experiencing a mental health problem and that’s why it’s important to check in with both yourself and the people close to you.
Today on WMHD, take a minute to check in on your own mental health. Think about how you have been feeling recently, if you have felt more stressed than usual, if your everyday behaviour or routine has dramatically changed.
The stigma attached to mental health can make people feel uncomfortable talking about it, but it is healthy to say how you are feeling and can help others, too. Checking in on how your friends, family and colleagues are feeling can help to reduce this stigma and open up a discussion on mental health.
On WMHD, mental health organisations will be promoting how they can help and support you. If you would like to learn more about looking after your mental health or need support, check one of these resources:
0800 068 41 41
Text SHOUT to 8525
0800 58 58 58