Mental Health Day – What is it and why is it important?
What is the general perception about mental illness?
A sad thing that happens to others but I should not worry about it, right?
According to the World Health Organisation, ‘if we don’t act urgently, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally.’
Here is everything you need to know….
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in many countries.
The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
Mental Health Day 2016
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is “psychological first aid”. Efforts in support of the Day focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers.
Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both psychological and social support. Just like general health care never consists of physical first aid alone, similarly no mental health care system should consist of psychological first aid alone. Indeed, the investment in psychological first aid is part of a longer-term effort to ensure that anyone in acute distress due to a crisis is able to receive basic support, and that those who need more than psychological first aid will receive additional advanced support from health, mental health and social services.
Why is it important?
As per the reports, suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales at present. While suicide and self-harm are not mental health problems per se, they are obviously linked to mental distress. This shows how much still needs to be done – from improvements in mental health care provision to people having more open conversations about mental health, and beyond.
Some other recent stats to think about are:
- Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain.
- As many as 10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.
- The poorer and more disadvantaged are disproportionately affected by common mental health problems and their adverse consequences.
- 10% of mothers and 6% of fathers in the UK have mental health problems at any given time.
- One in five teens experience a mental health problem in any given year.
(All statistics from The Mental Health Foundation)
While these stats are just a starting point for a conversation, I think it’s the conversation that is most important. When you have a mental health problem – to feel that you are the only one going through it, and to deal with it alone, and to feel like it’s somehow your fault, something you should be ashamed of, can be just as bad I think.
Tips to look after mental health
- Talk about your feelings
- Eat well
- Drink sensibly
- Keep in touch with loved ones
- Ask for help
- Take a break
- Do something you’re good at
- Accept who you are
- Care for others
Reasons to take a Mental Health Day
I am not a robot.
You are not a robot.
Everyone gets exhausted after too much work – I and you are no exceptions. That’s where a mental health day can come rescue us.
“You can easily get stressed in the workplace, which makes you so exasperated that you can’t stand going into the office,” says Robert London, a New-York based psychiatrist. “You don’t really want to quit, you just need a break — and a mental health day gives you that.”
Here are some healthy excuses to take a day off:
1. It helps in dealing with stress
Image Credits: livingright.co
Long working hours together with demanding to-do lists are sufficient to make anyone feel exhausted. According to the research too much work is one of the leading causes of stress. Workplace burnout can become serious problem if it is not taken care of, which is why London recommends taking a day for yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed or bogged down more than usual.
2. You can explore your surroundings
When was the last time you stopped to appreciate the beauty of the place where you live? With a mental health day, you can do so. You can check out a local market or spend a few hours in your closest park. Whatever you do, make it an adventure and be happy.
3. You’ll be more productive when you are back
Breaks are like oxygen for your brain. You are giving your mind a chance to decompress, which will boost productivity and creativity in the long run. So ask your boss to give you a day off as it will be helping your company only!
4. You can manage your to-do list
No, not the one on your desk in the office. Your personal to-do list. Have you been meaning to clean your room? Want to go for a concert? Try that new lunch joint? Now is the time to do it! Having a chance to catch up on personal joys will enable you to return to your work in a better state of mind.
5. You can get some sleep
Image Credits: womenwhohope.com
There is no doubt that sleep is a performance enhancer. One way to get it? A day off. Take some time to rest – small naps help! Return to work wide awake and ready to conquer your tasks.
6. You will feel refreshed
Ultimately, mental health day allows you to unplug from your inbox and refocus — and that can make you a happier, healthier employee.
So what all are you planning to do on this mental health day!