Thursday, October 9, 2014

World Mental Health Day


(Photo from google)

Friday, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. According to Wikipedia,
"World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy...supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on peoples' life worldwide. In some countries this day is part of the larger Mental Illness Awareness Week."
"Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), also known as Mental Health Awareness Week, was established ... to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October. During this week, mental health advocates and organizations ... join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote community outreach and public education concerning mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Examples of activities held during the week include art/music events, educational sessions provided by healthcare professionals, advertising campaigns, health fairs, movie nights, candlelight vigils, and benefit runs."
And similarly, from a United Food and Commercial Workers e-newsletter,
"Currently the World Health Organization estimates that more than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In Canada, each day 500,000 citizens miss work due to a mental illness, and it is estimated that one in five Canadians will experience some form of mental illness in their lives."
The latter is a statistic I have mentioned in my series on mental health. (Before three posts on the topic of suicide dated September 10, 11, and 12, I wrote a three-part series on mental health entitled, "Aftermath of a Brilliant Comics’ Death: Funnyman Robin Williams" on August 24, September 2, and September 8 (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/08/part-1-aftermath-of-brilliant-comics.html), (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/part-2-aftermath-of-brilliant-comics.html), and (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/part-3-aftermath-of-brilliant-comics.html).

How does your home and/or work environment handle situations around mental health? And how do you personally deal with it?

P.S. If you press on the Control button on your keyboard plus roll upwards (towards) the front on the middle of your mouse, it will increase the font size so the ad may be more legible.

I am linking this post to ultrablog as well as ultimateblogchallenge and writetribe.

22 comments:

  1. This is the second post I've read in a couple of days which addressed mental health, though I have to admit that this one is a better fit for my concept of what constitutes mental illness. I am also inspired to read your posts on suicide as September 11th was the 11th anniversary of my dad's suicide. I appreciate people like you who are not averse to posting on these sensitive topics as I hope that by writing about it openly, some of the stigma will be erased and more people can seek help without shame.

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    1. Thanks Sheri, though for this post I mainly didn't type much of my own words which is a rarity (due to lack of time and wanting to post on this subject in time). Sorry to hear about your Dad, and especially on September 11th which is a challenging day to begin with and more so as you are from the U.S. I think it's important to 'dialogue' openly about it so that the stigma, shame, and suffering for both patients and their families can be eliminated, hopefully in time. <3

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  2. Mental health is such a serious issue. Thanks for sharing and educating people about it so they can either get help themselves or encourage someone else to.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. It indeed is an important issue for people to be aware of and educated about. I think a lack of awareness creates a lot of fear, i.e., fear of the unknown, especially with media's portrayal of people with a mental illness. <3

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  3. In NZ we have had a lot of mental illness information adverts on television for a number of years now which features a well known sports athlete here with Depression. It brought a lot of awareness and acceptance of the issues surrounding the topic.

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    1. That's great and good to know, and I think a good start. Depression is certainly the primary mental health issue that so many people experience at one time or another in their lives, whether through the death of a loved one or postpartum depression or hypothyroidism or PTSD or whatever else can cause it. <3

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  4. Glad you are sharing this. Mostly it's just swept under the carpet like a plague.
    It's still a taboo to discuss in many countries.

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    1. Thanks Inderpreet and yes, I've heard that and sorry to hear. From you remark, should I presume that India is one of the countries that does not recognize World Mental Health Day? If not, perhaps it should consider! <3

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  5. I was not aware there was a National Mental Health Day until this past Tuesday. I attended a seminar and we discussed how your brain regulates how you feel (including your mental health), your clarity of mind, your level of motivation and confidence, how vital and alive you feel. It was very informative.

    Glad to see you are spreading this.

    Rachel recently wrote What to do When You Are Bumping Into Your Stuff

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    1. Yes, it's interesting that even though the theme of the day and week are supposedly widespread, a lot of people may still not be aware of as I just happened to find out. I think it's great to attend seminars where you can learn about the brain and mental health. Good for you for attending. Hopefully they will continue to do so and have more and more people attending. :) <3

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  6. During my working life, I never came across any policy to handle mental health. I guess it came under the heading of general health if someone couldn't attend work. I lived with an undiagnosed bipolar husband for 27 years, so I know how devastating it can be to the person involved and the rest of the family. You're right. We should talk about it.

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    1. I would hope and think that times have changed for most workplaces since the time your husband was diagnosed. That's certainly too long a time for you both not to get the support you required. So sorry to hear you had to go through that Francene and most likely alone. I can see how devastating that can be. Awareness and education are two key main steps to decreasing stigma...so yes, we should be talking (more) about it! <3

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  7. Such an intense and serious issue. Thankf for writing on this

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    1. It can be intense but it needn't be. I think learning about various mental health issues and how best to cope with it, help others deal with it, etc. are all key elements to destigmatize it. Then perhaps it will be a lot less intense. Thanks for your feedback Cynthia. <3

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  8. Mental Health is a very important issue and needs a lot of awareness and focus as still there's so much of stigma attached to it in our country. People do visit hospitals and clinics for mental illness but a lot needs to be done still for creating awareness and eradicating stigma.Thanks for talking about it, Elly!

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    1. Well, I guess somebody had better start the conversations going in your country! Who will start? You? We each can do our part, even talking/writing about it, i.e., the lack of awareness, the stigma associated with mental illness, etc. Perhaps write/speak with politicians or those in power, start a campaign and/or petition, etc. Whatever it takes to turn the tide. <3

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  9. Mental illness is a very important issue.If one person in the family is affected, the whole family has to suffer.There is an urgent need for more intensive action to provide better care for such patients.

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    1. Yes, it is a bit like dominos I suppose: the person affected then has an effect on their family members and friends, then society. See my remark to Shilpa above if you are interested in the subject or spread the word around...someone sooner or later will or 'should' start. Remember Ghandi and the difference he made: it only takes one and starts with one person! ;) <3

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  10. Mental illness is such a real disease. Lovely how you spotlighted this.

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    1. An interesting comment as I have a strong aversion to the term 'disease. Is it really? I know someone who has helped people overcome bipolar disease with his relatives! I think there is a lot we know and also a lot we may not know... ;) <3

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  11. People don't want to acknowledge they have an issue when it comes to mental health. Glad someone is talking about it and creating awareness. Even kids suffer from depression nowadays.

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    1. Yes Sulekkha, can you blame people for not wanting to with the stigma about mental health? And unfortunately there is a lot of depression occurring even in children as you say...a sad situation (pardon the pun). <3

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