11 Oct World Mental Health Awareness Day
Mental Health Awareness Day
Yesterday, October 10 was Mental Health Awareness Day. It started on October 10, 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health. The day is meant to spread awareness. According to WHO, close to one billion people suffer from some sort of mental illness. Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents and adults, and 1 in 5 children and adolescents has a mental disorder.
In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental health conditions receive no treatment for their condition at all. This year’s theme was “Move for Mental Health”. This can be as simple as going outside and getting your body moving, or making moves to invest in mental health if you can.
Mental Illness Does Not Discriminate
Anyone can be affected by a mental health disorder. Yesterday, many celebrities took to social media to discuss their personal struggles with mental illness. One of the most notable posts came from Selena Gomez who has previously shared that she suffers from bipolar disorder. Yesterday she sat with Dr. Vivek Murthy via Zoom. He is the former Surgeon General under the Obama Administration. They discussed chronic loneliness, mental health, and the healing power of the human connection. Gisele Bündchen opened up on an Instagram post about her battles with anxiety.
“After battling severe panic attacks in my early 20’s, I experienced a big transformation, one that changed my life forever. Meditation, breath work and replacing unhealthy habits with healthier ones were some of the incredible tools that went along with this rebirth. I know now from experience that the biggest challenges we face are often our biggest opportunities for growth. Yes, we can feel alone and overwhelmed when we’re in the thick of things, but nothing is permanent, and if we do the work we can come out on the other side stronger than ever. That is something I wish for everyone.”
Former Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, Opens Up
Hannah Brown, a past bachelorette contestant, also posted for the day with a very touching caption:
“Are you happy Hannah?”
I will never forget that seemingly simple question that came with a heavy answer at an annual doctor’s appointment going into my junior year of college. I’m the girl that is always wearing a smile! How dare he ask?! But oh, thank God he did.
“No…. I’m not. I don’t even remember the last time I felt happy. And I don’t know why. I have reason to be happy, but I just can’t really feel it,” I said through broken words passing through the lumps of emotions that had felt indefinitely lodged in my throat.
I couldn’t keep up the act anymore. For years, I silently struggled internally as I was externally championed as the one who always seemed happy. I honestly think that day in the doctor’s office was the first time someone asked me if I was indeed, happy.
Admitting I wasn’t okay, and acknowledging my silent, hostage struggle with anxiety and depression through my crocodile tears was a pivotal day for me. I have made big leaps of progress in healing and understanding “it’s okay not to be okay”, with important tools and support to help manage the thoughts and feelings that take over and store within me. ”
Mental Health Awareness Is Important Now More Than Ever
As we are experiencing a global pandemic with COVID-19, a global pandemic of mental illness follows us close behind. Covid has had an affect on not only the physical health of the world, but also its mental health. Mental health conditions CAN be treated. Sometimes we struggle and don’t seek help. Go to therapy, share your hardships, let others know that they are not alone. It’s up to us to recognize symptoms in others and be there for them, but also to seek help for ourselves.
Always remember that you are not alone. The invisible monster isn’t in your imagination, it hurts sometimes just to survive every day. What are you guys doing to nourish your mental health? Let us know in the comments below!