5 ways to acknowledge World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is a day for international mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Since it may be a little ironic or inappropriate to say ‘happy World Mental Health Day’, let us wish you a mindful and positive World Mental Health Day.
Mental illness comes in so many different forms to so many different degrees, it’s hard to offer one-size-fits-all tips on tackling mental illness, but below are five surefire ways you can make today that bit more positive.
Ask someone if they are OK
Around the world, but especially in the UK, asking someone how they are isn’t seen as a genuine question so much as a courtesy, and the only courteous answer is often seen as ‘fine, thank you’, or something generally positive.
However, if you sense someone isn’t feeling ‘fine’ – inquire about it. They might answer that they are genuinely fine, or that they don’t want to talk about what might be troubling them. However, it might open up a deeper, more insightful discussion and give someone the chance to offload.
Ask yourself if you are OK!
Take the time this day of the year, dedicated to tackling mental illness, to ask yourself if you are OK, or if there’s steps you could take to improve your well-being.
With statistics showing that almost eight in every 100 people in England suffer from mixed anxiety and depression, it’s safe to say that more of us should ask the question more often and reflect on what makes us happy and unhappy in our lives.
Make one change towards bettering your mental health
You might read this and think ‘I’m fine how I am!’ but no matter how happy and upbeat you might be, there is probably something you could do to improve your mental health.
Perhaps you are going to bed too late and feeling lethargic at work as a result?
Perhaps you aren’t eating a healthy, balanced diet which could leave you feeling groggy?
Maybe you have friends you’ve been meaning to see for a long time but haven’t planned it yet.
Wherever you are in your journey, progress today. Don’t give up until you’ve made one commitment that improves your mental health, whether it’s looking for a new job or going to yoga once a month.
Select one phrase that stigmatises mental illness and be more mindful of its impact in future
Here are some phrases that have played a role in stigmatising mental illness, despite not always doing so when used: ‘you should smile more’, ‘calm down’, ‘stop worrying’.
Here are some more serious phrases that stigmatise mental health:
‘that makes me want to cut myself’
‘that makes me want to kill myself’
Think twice, before speaking, about normalising and belittling serious disorders and silencing sufferers of mental health problems.
Donate to mental health charity, Mind
Mind is a UK charity focused on tackling mental illness. They offer a wide range of online support and services as well as physical venues nationwide offering services which include talking therapies, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. Each local Mind is an independent charity run by local people, for local people. Donate here.