Happy World Mental Health Day!
And we mean that: happiness and mental wellbeing is crucial if we are to lead fun and fulfilling lives. Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression and over 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both.
The WHO defines mental health as ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilising efforts in support of better mental health. ‘Mental health in the workplace’ is the theme of this year’s day, focusing on our self-esteem and wellbeing at work or when we study. After all, we all spend a large proportion of our lives doing those things.
Mental health is as important as physical health. Taking steps to ensure our mental wellbeing is vital and recognising issues and working on them is nothing to be embarrassed about.
The charity Mind has published a quick and simple checklist to help us reflect on and diagnose possible mental health issues, with guidance on where to get help if you’re concerned. It asks us to consider whether we have a support network of friends and family in place, know how to relax and have fun, and what has an impact on our mood, among other things. It offers a great way to learn whether we may be experiencing mental health issues and educate ourselves about how to monitor our own wellbeing.
As they say on their site, it’s common to feel unsure about seeking support for your mental wellbeing, and to feel like you ought to wait until you can’t handle things on your own. But it’s always OK for you to seek help at any time.
Mental health is something we should all learn about, explore and celebrate and everyone can all get involved around World Mental Health Day. Birmingham has loads of events throughout the month, running from 17 to 28 October at venues across the city. It’s all part of the BEDLAM festival, now in its third year, which offers theatre, art, dance and loads more. The events help us to investigate mental health and start to remove the stigma that still surrounds this essential part of our being.
Taking control of our wellbeing and getting out there to celebrate ourselves is something we should all do.