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 mobilize efforts to address mental health issues around the world. The theme this year, “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority” symbolizes the gap in treatment as it related to funding and accessibility. 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.
As advocates of positive mental wellness, 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 if finances are a concern.
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. We usually 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 Trevor Project– The Trevor Project focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. Through a toll-free telephone number, it operates The Trevor Lifeline, a confidential service that offers trained counselors
- One Mind– One Mind accelerates collaborative research and advocacy to enable all individuals facing brain health challenges to build healthy, productive lives.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)– ADAA brings together mental health professionals who lend their time and expertise to improve patient care by promoting the implementation of best practices and treatments across disciplines through continuing education and training and accelerating dissemination of research into practice.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention– AFSP is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education, and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.
WHO has many resources for anyone who wants to learn more about World Mental Health Day. 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.