Mental health is still a topic people feel uncomfortable to talk about. Despite the awareness and educational programs on offer over the past few years, it still seems like no-one wants to talk about it.
World Mental Health Day is Thursday 10 October and although this day is recognised each year, society still seems to attach a stigma to mental illness. You just have to mention the topic in a conversation and everyone falls silent. This should not be the case, but it is a reality.
World Mental Health Day is a global education, awareness and advocacy progam created by the World Federation for Mental Health. It was first observed in 1992 and since then has continued to bring awareness about mental health issues around the globe.
With one in five Australians reported as living with a mental illness, it should be a topic people are comfortable to talk about. As we know, people are social creatures. They love to meet, talk and socialise. Socialising improves our minds. We learn by talking to people.
Every person in society will be touched by mental illness at some point in their life. We live in a fast paced world where there is an abundance of information thrown at us constantly. Our brains were not built too store too much at any one time. So, if we do not take care of our brain, it will eventually burn out.
As a society we need to keep re-educating ourselves about mental health and remove the stigma. Mental illness is not a disease or a crime; and it is not always visible. People whom experience mental health issues are active, independent members of society.
Unconcious bias plays a part in the way people are treated. Your belief system of how you were taught about mental health will shape how you respond to someone seeking help.
Life is like a choose your own adventure. We can choose how we respond to a situation or event as it happens. We can choose how we respond to someone who asks for help.
Even if it is sharing a cup of tea or coffee with someone who just needs to talk can make all the difference. And if we do not know what to do, there are places we can refer someone to such as Beyond Blue, Headspace or Reachout.
Mental Health Week 7 – 11 October 2019