Do you know that almost half of the mental disorders begin by the age of 14 and around three-quarters by the age of 24? About 76% to 85% of people with mental disorders living in low-income and middle-income countries receive no treatment. The same is for around 35% to 50% people in high-income countries. Alarming, isn’t it? Mental Health issues like depression, dementia, anxiety, and bipolar disorders are booming at a considerable rate. This makes it ever so important to enhance awareness regarding mental health among people.
When I was 18, I saw the world trembling around me. Not only was my father suffering from serious diabetic issues and financial crisis, but things also weren’t working out for me in school. From an above-average student to the lowest in class, it was beyond my understanding as to what was happening with me. My dreams of a secure career seemed to fade away. The number of times I had a nervous breakdown in the midst of a day is uncountable.
I had to run washrooms from the middle of the class to cry my eyes out. I refused to come out of my bed in the morning, missing important classes and activities. It was only when I decided to sign-up for therapy in school and take proper medications that things calmed down. Mental Health, which was just a clichéterm for me in my adolescent years, slowly became one of the important things to look after. I think we need to educate people about mental health before it gets too late.
Ways through which you can contribute to mental health awareness
During the difficult situations in my life, I was lucky to have a strong support system. Friends, family, teachers and my therapist; people around me helped to deal with the severe mental crisis I was facing. But it took me around a year to reach out for help. An entire year to embrace issues with my mental state and asking people to bring me out of it. Surprisingly, I had it easier than most of the people out there. Most aren’t even aware that the reason for them falling apart is their deteriorating mental health. So how can you help them out? What are the ways through which you can boost awareness about mental health?
Speak with people you know
Interestingly, the more I started dealing with my mental health, the better I started realizing the widespread of the issue. Trust me, even your happiest friend or the funniest colleague could be on the verge of a breakdown. We only see someone for a few hours a day and never know what he/she must be going through at home. The best way to help anyone out there is to speak with them, asking how they are doing. You never know when someone will open up to you and will need you to listen to them. At times, if you feel that your family member, a close friend or coworker needs help, you should encourage them to go to therapy and assist them appropriately.
Open up to people about yourself
A pat on the back and assurance go miles ahead in helping people to deal with their crippling mental state. What anyone likes to hear is, everything is going to be fine in the end. And what’s better is to see someone, who has gone through similar hell like them, to come out stronger. If you have successfully or even partially dealt with mental health issues, you should open up to people about your story. You can even share stories of others you may know to assure those suffering from mental issues.
Help organize a mental health screening event
Mental Health screening events are camps or workshops that can help to find out if you are suffering from any mental issues. These include examinations, tests, and talks with psychologists and therapists to examine the symptoms of any mental issue. If you are a part of any educational institution, you can talk with the management to organize a mental health camp for students. The same can be done at your place of work. You should search for organizations or hospitals in your local community that can help you with the organization of the event.
Make use of social media and internet
There are numerous websites, blogs and essay writing services who pattern such topics in which they show a support for people suffering from mental health, doctors and psychologists. It is best to optimize your social media by sharing anything related to the topic with the people. This can include insights on mental health issues, personal stories of people, advice on how to overcome challenges in life and any information regarding local therapists. In this way, you will also help other people to understand more about the issues, fostering kindness within them.
There is no better virtue than volunteering for causes you care about. You should search for organizations and NGOs in your community where you can educate people about mental health. For example, you can help in the organization and management of mental health screening events or camps. Similarly, many NGOs run campaigns and give presentations in schools especially to educate young children about mental health. You can take part in them, share your story and encourage children to seek help.
The Final Takeaway
Mental Health issues are no longer something to overlook. Individuals of all ages, races, and genders suffer from crippling mental states. Your efforts to even create awareness can help tons of people to deal with the calamity. If you, yourself, have withstood all the mental health difficulties in your life or going through them right now, it is important to remember that everything will be fine in the end. As an advocate, supporter, and voice for mental health issues, you can help improve the well-being of people around you.
Some key dates to remember:
World Mental Health Month: May
National Minority Mental Health Month: July
World Mental Health Day& National Depression Screening Day: October 10
World Suicide Prevention Day: September 10
World Mental Health Awareness Week: October 6– October 12
International Suicide Survivors’ Day: November 23