As you may have heard, today is World Mental Health Day. An important day in which there is global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against the social stigma surrounding the issue of mental health. Often, it is not regarded as highly as your physical health, despite it being just as damaging.
The World Health Organisation has recognised World Mental Health Day on 10 October of each year. Each year has a specific theme to focus on, this year it being suicide prevention.
An important message that should be taken from today is the symbol of hope, as this is a vital feeling in the brain that people need to hold onto during difficult times.
Since 2018, suicide rates have dramatically risen, which is a very concerning matter. There’s not a definitive reason, and if there was it would be so much easier. For many, their depression or anxiety is triggered by a variety of reasons. However, there has been evidence to point towards problems such as financial uncertainty, poverty, unemployment, traumatising life events, ill-health, loneliness, and discrimination.
It is crucial to understand why someone resorts to suicide, that way they can get the help to resolve the issue that made them feel trapped in this position in the first place.
Increasingly, people have demanded that more resources and mental health services become available. However, two-thirds of people who commit suicide do not access services that they have currently available to them.
This shows that for some it is not an option, therefore, with a day dedicated to mental health it’s an opportunity to show that are millions who have felt this way and battled through – no one is alone. This day is incredibly vital in showing that there’s hope for someone in crisis.
What Can You Do For World Mental Health Day?
It is easy to join the movement and raise awareness for better mental health and suicide prevention. All you need to do is simply wear the green ribbon, this is a symbol for mental health awareness.
If you’ve left it a little late, you can share a digital sticker of the symbol through any social media platforms you use, all you need to do is type in ‘green ribbon’.
By wearing this symbol you are showing loved ones, friends and colleagues that you care about their mental health and always there for them to talk to.
This symbol can also be used as a memory for a loved one who you have lost to mental health problems.
Suicide Prevention – WAIT
Prevention is one way of individually helping someone suffering from mental health problems. Even asking a simple question like “How are you today?” can make a big difference between life and death.
One way of remembering how to support someone suffering is thinking of the acronym WAIT, this stands for:
Watch out for signs such as distress and uncharacteristic behaviours. This could be anti-social behavior, irritability, extreme quietness, uncharacteristic outbursts and, talking about death and suicide.
Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?” because this isn’t encouraging them, nor does it lead the person into thinking about it. It most likely will help prevent it, perhaps starting a lifesaving conversation.
It will pass. You need to reassure your loved one that these distressing thoughts will be disappear, which can be reassuring and give them hope.
Talk to others. You should encourage your loved one to seek professional help from a GP or health professional.
Celebrities Show Their Support
Celebrities have taken to Twitter to show their support for World Mental Health Day 2019, showing that literally everyone has gone through something similar at some point in their lives.
The Royal Family has even teamed up with singer Ed Sheeran to challenge peoples’ perceptions around mental health. Prince Harry invites Ed Sheeran over to his cottage in a short clip shared through Instagram, the two discuss how everyone is in this battle together.
TODAY IS WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY! Let’s make #WorldMentalHealthDay top trending. Attention on social media can lead to more awareness and give #mentalhealth a higher priority worldwide. Please help us to reach as many people as possible by retweeting and using our hashtag💚 pic.twitter.com/apqIwefHac
— WorldMentalHealthDay (@WMHDay) October 10, 2019
It’s #WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD2019
The Royal Family has long supported this day to raise awareness of the challenges people face around mental health.
Today, The Duke of Sussex has teamed up with @edsheeran to encourage people to talk.
Watch the video: @sussexroyal @instagram pic.twitter.com/NPQhRNCo5J
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 10, 2019
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay
We all have mental health in common.
Take care of yourself and check in on your nearest and dearest. That friend or family member who seems fine may be struggling and just a simple message could make a big difference ❤️
— Will Poulter (@PoulterWill) October 10, 2019
Many Nigerians have misconceptions about mental illness, leading to stigmatization of sufferers of it. Stigmatization deprives victims their full measure of dignity and inclusivity in our society. We all can do better. #VoiceOfTheDon #MentalHealthAwareness #WorldMentalHealthDay pic.twitter.com/urYucdnD5a
— ITS DONJAZZY AGAIN😉 (@DONJAZZY) October 10, 2019
It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society
— Sinead O’Connor (AKA Shuhada Sadaqat) (@MagdaDavitt77) October 10, 2019
Powerful stories from Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps and others on their mental health journeys, including the small everyday steps they take to boost their mental well-being. #WorldMentalHealthDay #ThrivingMind pic.twitter.com/fpnF51Mhu1
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) October 10, 2019
If you are seriously beginning to consider harming yourself, or feel that you can’t keep yourself right now then you must seek immediate help by calling 999 or heading straight to A&E.
You call also make an emergency appointment with your GP, call NHS on 111 (England) or NHS Direct Wales for out of hour help. If you have a mental health crisis team then make sure to contact them and let them know how you’re feeling.
- Samaritans offer 24 hours support, 7 days a week. You call them for free at 116 123 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) has a helpline that is available from 5 pm till midnight. There’s also web chat support for men.
- Shout Crisis Text Line can help if you’re experiencing a personal crisis and if you feel unable to cope and need support then text ‘Shout’ to 85258.
- Papyrus is a service dedicated to young people up to the age of 35, who are concerned about their feelings or any other young person. You can call them at HOPEline UK on 0800 068 4141 or text 07786209697. If neither of them is an option for you then try emailing at email@example.com
Remember, your mental health matters.