Every year, October 10 is observed as World Mental Health Day. The overall objective of this observance is to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to activate efforts in support of mental health. It’s very important to pay as much attention to your mental wellbeing as your physical health, especially during the pandemic. The theme for this year is “Mental Health Care For All: Let’s Make It A Reality.”
World Mental Health Day was launched in 1992. Initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries, the aim of this observance was to promote global mental health education, awareness, and support against social stigma. Each year thousands of supporters join to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.
This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the focus would be on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. As WHO points out: “During the pandemic, some groups including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been majorly affected and services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted”. The need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels was recognized by governments from around the world during the World Health Assembly held in May 2021.
Though life is returning to some sort of normalcy in some countries, the rate of transmission and hospital admissions remain high in others. What’s appreciable is that some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations and this year, WHO will showcase the efforts made in some of these countries. This is expected to encourage other countries to highlight positive stories as part of their own activities.
Here are some valuable tips for preserving mental health:
- As the body and the mind are connected, taking proper care of your body will promote mental well-being too.
- As sleep has a huge effect on mental health, make sure to get a good night’s sleep. This will help you better cope with stress, handle problems, concentrate, think positively, and remember things.
- Build good relationships, spend quality time with your near and dear, and learn from each other.
- Choose friends who have interests similar to you, and respect and appreciate who you are, and make you feel happy.
- Talk about your feelings when you are troubled. This can help you stay in good mental health and deal with the situation.
- Just like the other organs in your body, your brain needs the right nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well. So eat healthy.
- Avoid drinking alcohol when you’re feeling low. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.
- Practice healthy thinking and build the ability to deal with problems.
- Don’t let your weaknesses beat you. Identify and utilize your strengths as needed.
- Stay active and positive.
- To beat mental stress, engage in activities that you enjoy or you’re good at it. Achieving something will boost your self-esteem.
- Focus on what you are grateful for.
Participate in the World Mental Health Day campaign – visit https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2021/campaign-materials to know what you can do.
Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality