World Mental Health Day: Resources to Help You Have an Increased Investment in Your Mental Health by Noreen Braman
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set aside October 10 of each year as World Mental Health Day, with the goal of raising awareness of mental health issues, services available globally and what changes or improvements are needed. Past year areas of focus have included suicide, workplace issues and the needs of young people, older adults.
The theme for the year 2020 is “increased investment in mental health,” inspired, in part, by the great need caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Even people with high levels of resilience have found themselves battling depression, grief, fear and anxiety. WHO has several recommendations and coping suggestions:
1. A free book for children, My Hero Is You.
2. An infographic for helping children cope with stress during this pandemic.
3. Suggestions for being mentally healthy at home, including graphics you can share.
4. An infographic about coping with stress during this pandemic.
Practices such as mindfulness, gratitude journaling and volunteering help boost your resilience and provide feel-good endorphins to balance stress. Laughter, getting outside for sunshine and walking, as well as creative activities, also give you those endorphins and can provide physical benefits as well.
Use World Mental Health day as a reminder to be familiar with resources in the area where you live: hotlines, mental health services providers and support groups. You may even consider looking into Psychological First Aid, a course that trains you to be a community helper in times of local disasters and other times when mental heath support is needed.
You may never need to avail yourself of mental health services, but it is very likely you will know someone who will. Knowing where to turn in a time of difficulty can go a long way toward helping yourself, a loved one, friend or community member.
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