And today, 10.10.11 is World Mental Health Day and the theme for this year is about investing in mental health. A day to acknowledge mental health and related issues was created by the World Federation for Mental Health back in 1992. Yet, there are probably several countries in the world where there is still hardly any importance given to the matter.
On this World Mental Health Day, my hope is that countries invest in creating awareness about mental health issues.
Mental illness still has a stigma attached to it. While there are some countries more accepting than others, mental health is still put on the backburner for most. There continues to exist a negative connotation about the word ‘mental’ and people seem to think it suggests something is very wrong with them or something negative about them. Rather, mental purely means about the mind. Having mental health problems doesn’t mean one is crazy. Rather, it just means one’s mind is not coping well. People are quick to see a doctor when they have physical health problems. But when it comes to mental wellbeing, they take their time thinking it will go away. While it sometimes might, more often than not, people will need help. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Apart from that, it would be great to have more early intervention services targeting children, adolescents and families but at the same time, not forgetting adults in need. After all, adults with mental health problems do have children themselves resulting in difficulties parenting and mental health problems for the kids as well.
Finally, on this World Mental Health Day, I would like to encourage all of you out there to acknowledge if you have mental health problems. They may not necessarily be psychoses but can also be depression or anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorders. And sometimes, you may need a helping hand to cope. There is nothing to be ashamed about needing a little extra help. This may be from a friend or family member but it may also be from a professional. And if you are mentally well but have a friend or family member with problems, do talk to them and recommend they get assistance.
Let’s be more aware and spread the message about mental health.
It is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to get help for.
So do your bit. Become aware.
For your own sake.
For your own wellbeing.
Until next time,