World Mental Health Day
Aakruthi Karri discusses her thoughts on the recent World Mental Health day
On 10th October, many countries celebrate good mental health as well as raising awareness of the various issues. These not only include depression and its symptoms, but those disorders relating to stress and anxiety. An example would be: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The final objective to be undertaken is the advocacy against social stigma. The day was publicised and celebrated in Exeter, but there is always room for possible improvements, in terms of raising awareness.
“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it.”Russell Wilson
The quote is one that I wholeheartedly agree with, since talking about feelings in many situations can reduce stress and anxiety. It can also be viewed as being therapeutic. One need not see a therapist or psychiatrist to do so, sometimes the same effect can be achieved by talking to friends and family about daily life and some worrying matters. This should be done as long as it is not straining or detrimental to their mental health.
If not, the university have their Wellbeing services that does telephonic and in-person appointments, which can be effective and comforting.
However, if the thoughts are more serious, then one should contact a mental health line such as Samaritans, or begin some form of therapy.
It also helps others realise that feeling overwhelmed is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
Mental health is an important matter to be addressed. Without a healthy and functioning mind, life can be very difficult. It is equally important when compared to physical health. Thus, tackling the topic through having a Mental Health Day, looks and proves to be quite effective. A contributing factor for the success would be spreading the message through social media. This also addresses the stigma surrounding mental health and ensures people that it is fine for one to seek help for problems. It also helps others realise that feeling overwhelmed is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It also works in celebrating those working in the area of mental health, to show what their work entails and the extent to which their work is making a difference in the modern day world.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), to acknowledge and celebrate Mental Health day, one should spend around 40 seconds reaching out and talking to family and friends about how they’re feeling, this includes feelings of anxiety and depression, and the Young Minds charity expects one to wear yellow to celebrate the day. Maybe there could be more publicity and prevalence of the day on campus, as well as in the city. I celebrated World Mental Health day, simply by talking to my friends and family about how my day went and how I felt. It was quite comforting and reassuring.
The stigma around mental health is still very much present, it is a goal to be definitely worked towards. A manner to tackle the issue would be spreading the word about the Wellbeing services and bringing help to friends, as well as encouraging them to celebrate the day, everyday.