The importance of celebrating World Mental Health Day
by Kim Horkan, See Change Ambassador
Everyone has mental health. No matter who you are, if you are a living, breathing, human being, you have mental health. Nobody on this planet is immune to suffering or enduring a mental health difficulty. Mental health issues are on the rise. This is why now, more than ever, we need to talk about how to better take care of our minds. World Mental Health Day is, in my opinion, is one of the most important days of the year.
To be completely honest, I think every day should be Mental Health Day. There should be no need to have a day dedicated to speaking up and spreading awareness for mental health because this should be done every day, regardless. I know this may be idealistic, but if we could strive for this to be reality, the struggles of so many across the world would be lessened.
Whether you’re the King of England, the Dalai lama or Kim Kardashian, you still have mental health, which needs to be looked after. We all have coping mechanisms, which we have learnt and acquired throughout our life, some good, some bad and some questionable, but coping skills all the same. On World Mental Health Day, we can find lots of information and inspiration for new, healthy ways to look after our minds and manage our mental health. Meditation, yoga, journalling, sea swimming, a walk-in nature, healthy eating, there are endless ways to look after our wellbeing. Why not try something new this World Mental Health Day?
Many people across the globe feel shame around having a mental health difficulty. This is why on World Mental Health Day it is so important for as many people as possible to speak openly and raise awareness for mental health. I have suffered with mental illness since I was 13 years old. I have been open and transparent in conversation and through my writing for many years, this has helped me to relinquish feelings of shame and inferiority. The more we vocalise our pain and normalise speaking of our struggles, the less prevalent stigma will be in society.
Looking after our minds in the chaos of the modern world is more difficult than ever before. With endless distractions it’s hard to take time to really reset and recharge. Allow yourself time to do the things that help you to feel restored, it will help you to live a more meaningful and centred life.
World Mental Health Day is a day that makes an impact worldwide. It can help people to find the courage to confront or acknowledge having a mental health difficulty. It can influence and inspire people to leave old, unhealthy habits behind and try something healthier and more beneficial. It can spread awareness of highly stigmatised conditions, making it less daunting for those who suffer to seek a diagnosis or medical care. The list goes on and on.
Everyone with a mental health issue deserves equal treatment and a voice. We all have mental health; we will all know someone with mental illness in our lifetime. Mental health is universal, it affects us all. Let’s work together to make every day Mental Health Day and diminish stigma, prejudice and discrimination.
If you are having a tough time at the moment and need to reach out for support, please contact any of the following