World Mental Health is today, October 10th. It is a day to not just raise awareness for mental wellness, but to share the message that mental health IS health. The day was established in 1992 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to also mobilize efforts to address mental health issues around the world. The theme this year, “Mental Health in an Unequal World” symbolizes the gap in treatment. Similar to all aspects of health care, there are a large number of people who do not have access to mental health care due to lack of insurance, lack of coverage, financial issues, care deserts, or lack of funding for mental health programs.
We are huge proponents for mental wellness, as most of you know, so we want to share some resources with you, for ways that you can participate in World Mental Health Day.
- Take some time for yourself and practice self-care. We have some ways you can do that with a self-care checklist. Self-care is a great way to also take care of your mental wellness.
- Reflect on your own mental health. If you feel like you need to talk to someone and need to find a therapist, we recommend Mental Health Match. MHM takes all of the difficulty away from matching you with a therapist to fit your specific needs and preferences, including financial.
- Ask a friend or loved one how they are doing. Sometimes just a text to show some support goes a long way. We’ve all had a difficult year and we all need some human connection- some more than others. We encourage you to reach out to anyone, but especially those who you feel may need it most.
- Random acts of kindness always do so much for not only the recipient, but the giver. Normally we would say bake some goodies for someone, but in light of Covid, it may not be as welcomed. Maybe go tidy up someone’s yard, or roll their trash can back from the curb. It’s the small things, but they do a lot for one’s mental wellness.
- Donate, volunteer, or advocate. Mental health needs you. It needs your time, money, and/or your advocacy efforts. There are many organizations doing amazing work to further their mission and raise awareness for mental health. Take a look locally, in your own neighborhood for community organizations that may need your efforts, but here are some on a national level that we recommend:
- Not One More Vet– Dr. Nicole McArthur started NOMV following the suicide of world renowned veterinarian Dr. Sophia Yin. Veterinarians and animal care workers are at a very high risk of suicide. This non-profit provides peer-to-peer support groups, crisis support, research for mental health, and grant programs to fund suicide prevention.
- The JED Foundation – their mission is to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) – provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. They also help fund mental health programs for people who do not have financial means to pay for treatment.
WHO has many resources for anyone who wants to learn more about World Mental Health Day, or if you would like to look into information for various industries on coping with mental health issues. You can find those here.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.