World Mental Health Day, which is marked on the 10th of October, is to raise awareness about mental health and help people who are experiencing mental health issues. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has announced this year’s theme to be, ‘‘Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority’’.
What is mental health?
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a “state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her society”. To put this simply, it is being able to handle difficult situations people encounter in life.
“When pain knocks on your door, welcome it. Let it in. Sit with it. Have tea with it. Understand it. Then let it leave.” – Najwa Zebian
A Global Priority
During the pandemic, which lasted for more than two years and still is lurking among us, mental health became a focal topic more than ever. People were confined to their homes, and consequently, majority suffered from various mental issues. However, even before the pandemic, one in eight people were living with a mental disorder. This reveals that mental health problems are not a matter of every now and then, but are common. That is why mental health should be a ‘global priority’.
What are mental illnesses?
Varying their severity, mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. The most common are anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorder. Though common, sometimes people with mental disorders get marginalized in the society and as a result, such people suffer in silence, being unable to open up. For instance, depression is considered the ‘common cold of mental health disorders’. Even so, still it continues to be a taboo in the society. Unlike normal people, depressed people are seen through a different lens.
What can we do?
Anyone, at any point in their lives, can become a victim of a mental health issue. If everyone can be informed on what is mental health and the treatments for mental health problems, we can create a safer, welcoming environment for each and every individual. ‘It is okay to not be okay’ because we all are human beings and should climb the ladder of life together. After all, in life, it is happiness, peace and joy we are all in search of.
“You don’t have to struggle in silence. Be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it” – Demi Lovato