We are living in undeniably testing times. As the pandemic evolves in nature on, many people are still impacted by COVID-19 every day, and trying to make sense of the what the longer term effect might be. This, though, is just the tip of the iceberg. While the physical impact of the pandemic is not lost on anyone, its mental ramifications are often missed. With isolating restrictions and the constant stress, mental health is more important now than ever before.
The numbers don’t lie. Today, close to 1 billion people live with a mental health disorder. What’s more, suicide takes a precious human life every 40 seconds. Let that sink in – A death every minute due to a mental health disorder. Even beyond the statistics, chances are you know at least one person, if not more, living with mental health issues. That number, albeit profound, should serve as a good reason that we all take this issue seriously and all have a role to play in advocating to reduce stigma and therefore increase access to services. Including for ourselves, and broader society.
Even more concerningly, the current infrastructure is unequipped to deal with the situation. And it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Countries, on average, allocate only 2% of their health budget for mental health. Meanwhile, global mental health disorders’ estimated cost is expected to touch 16 trillion dollars by 2030. With such disparity, the situation may only get worse.
Mental health is one of the most ignored areas of health worldwide. Associated with stigmas and dismissed as a ‘luxury good,’ it doesn’t get the attention it requires. The World Mental Health Day celebrated globally on 10th October every year aims to change that. Since its inception in 1992, the day aims to expand knowledge, dispel myths, advocate against social stigmas, and support people living with from mental health disorders. It serves as an opportunity for the world to come together and finally address mental health issues.
Mental health needs more frank conversation, mainstream attention, and above all, quality education. While the problem is global, you can be the solution. Here is how you can make a difference this World Mental Health Day:
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”- Benjamin Franklin.
To spread the word and educate others, you first need to educate yourself. Take this day to watch a documentary or read up on mental health disorders. An investment in education now will pay huge dividends down the line.
2. Practice Self Care
Practice what you preach. Your mental health is as important as anyone else’s. Take this opportunity to indulge in an activity you enjoy. Exercising, journaling, or spending time with loved ones are some great ideas.
If you are feeling particularly stressed, consider reaching out to a counsellor. After all, how can you help others if you are feeling low yourself?
3. Reach Out
You never know what someone close to you is going through unless you reach out. A simple ‘how are you doing’ can go a long way to opening lines of communication. Reach out to people close to you and take the time to hear out their problems. Oftentimes, people just need someone to listen. Be that someone!
We can not afford to neglect mental health any longer. As the world comes together on World Mental Health Day, do what you can to make it count. The world will be a better place for it!
To learn more about mental health, and how you can make a difference visit our website mybeekeeper.org today. We have plenty of information in our article page that you, or someone you know, might find helpful.