If one was asked to think about what the month of October means to them, it would be no surprise if all things spooky associated with Halloween came to mind. However, one part of October that’s not scary, and is often overlooked, is that it also includes World Mental Health Day! World Mental Health Day was celebrated on October 10th, with its first celebration being in 1992. It is recognized by the World Federation for Mental Health and the World Health Organization.
The overarching goal of World Mental Health Day is to raise the awareness of mental health issues around the world and to provide the public with information regarding treatment. It also encourages mental health professionals or people working in the field to talk about their work and what they feel are vital advances that need to be made in order to broaden horizons for mental health care.
This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day was suicide prevention. Although October 10th has passed, you can always do things every day to improve your own mental health, as well as the mental health of others. Here are some ideas from the World Mental Health Organization on how to spread awareness, and start the conversation.
- If you are having a hard time coping with your own mental health issues, try reaching out and starting a conversation with someone that you trust to talk about your feelings.
- Don’t forget to reach out to those who have lost a loved one to suicide to ask how they are doing.
- If you have media influence, work in the arts, or have a digital platform, dedicate some time to focus on mental health statistics, interviews, articles, and blogspots to raise awareness.
- If you are an employer or manager, don’t forget to support your employees through positive messages and sharing resources that may be available to them within your workplace or even in the community to provide mental health care in times of distress.
- You can record an audio or video clip requesting that leaders in your community take action against suicide and for mental health.
- Again, if you have access to a public platform, consider inviting people to share mental health stories and messages to spread the word.
As always, if you or a loved one are suffering from mental health problems, don’t hesitate to seek help. For those in north-west Indiana and the Chicago area, you can call us at Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. We are located at 6819 W. 167th Street in Tinley Park, IL. We can be reached at (708) 633-8000. For those elsewhere, call you state’s professional associations for referrals to local counselors.
Written By: Emma at Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.