October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day devoted to ending social stigmas about mental health by properly educating the public. Advocates for mental health display their work in an effort to bring awareness to the global wide issue. A study by the World Health Organization discovered that 1 in 4 people have some kind of mental disorder. That’s a lot of people that are suffering from the bias of others based on ignorance. Join us in participating in World Mental Health Day to shed light on a typically avoided topic.
Source: Insight Health Care
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is the emotional and psychological well-being of a person. This can be affected by past traumatic experiences, family genes, or chemical brain imbalances. There is a multitude of different mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and so many more. These disorders can cause people to act different from their normal selves, and behave out of character. Medicine can ease some of these issues, but that can only be prescribed if a person seeks help first. A lot of people have a mental disease but fail to report it because they fear family, peers, or even the doctor will doubt their condition.
Source: Sarah Long
What Stigmas Are We Working To End?
People living with mental disorders face discrimination because of their illnesses everyday. Prejudice leads people to form opinions about others before they even get to know them, all because of an uncontrollable condition. Stereotypes have defined those with mental health issues as “dangerous” and people feel the compulsion to avoid them based on a label. Some also believe that these disorders are self inflicted and manifested from an attention seeking place. That is completely untrue. In fact, many people with a mental disorder feel uncomfortable sharing their illness and try to hide it from others. Of course people are going to hide their disease when they get shamed for it. Instead, mental issues should be addressed so that no one gets the wrong impression of a person based on false information. World Mental Health Day will get people talking about mental health, because it is nothing to stay silent about!
Source: Time To Change
How Can You Help
First and foremost, a way anyone can help, is simply spreading the word and educating peers on mental health. Shut down any untrue statements to ensure others aren’t being mislead. If you have the funds, donate to a charity working to aid those with a mental health disorder. A good one is the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the largest organization in the United States for mental health. Lastly, recognize the symptoms of developing mental illness in others so that they can get help. Some things to look out for include excess sleeping or eating, too little sleeping or eating, loss of interest in normal hobbies, feeling worthless, thoughts of self harm, and much more. Go to Mentalhealth.gov for more. When you notice a friend that seems to be suffering from these items, encourage them to talk to you about what they are going through. Reinforce the idea that they are safe to share their feelings and get help if they need it.
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