Mental Health. It's Hurting Us. It Needs Your Attention Too.
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Today is World Mental Health Day!
We get our annual physicals. We get our mammograms and pap smears. We get our flu shots. Why is it so much easier for us to get our physical health checked out, but not our mental health?
When is the last time you did something to improve YOUR mental well being? When is the last time you stopped to evaluate your feelings? Your stress levels? Your overall happiness??
It is imperative that we take care of our mental health and create an open environment where our loved ones can share their feelings as well.
World Mental Health Day takes place every year on October 10 aims to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues. It was established back in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health and has different themes every year. Suicide prevention is the primary focus for 2019. According to the World Health Organization, "Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide."
" Close to 800 000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies. Suicides are preventable. Much can be done to prevent suicide at individual, community and national levels."
There is no easy avenue for prevention but every step, every conversation, every deep breath helps. Some times we just need to step away. Take a coffee break. Go to a serene place like a park or beach. Or go on a longer "Me-Retreat." Release through our favorite hobby. Talk. Share. Don't hold it in. Meditate. Exercise. Do Yoga. Eat Well. Self-pamper. Allow yourself to be selfish every once in a while. In the long run it will help you to be stronger and better able to assist others anyway. And more importantly, you will be a better YOU.
Saw this great WAIT acronym online:
W - watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour
A - ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”
I - it will pass – assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time
T - talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional
If you are feeling stressed, sad, depressed - don't be afraid to stop and process WHY you are feeling this way. Talk to someone. See if therapy is covered in your insurance. Again SELF CARE is truly the first step in being there for anyone else and especially being there for yourself!
For those who need to hear it (which is all of us): WE love you. GOD loves you. You have a PURPOSE. The world is a better place with your BEAUTIFUL spirit in it. Take care of YOU!
Self hug time. Go on... We'll wait. : )
Click HERE for more information on suicide and prevention from World Health Organization
- Written by Janine Kai Robinson