Each year, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) observes the 10th October as World Mental Health Day.
The theme this year is “Mental Health for All”.
World Mental Health Day comes at a particularly poignant time, as our daily lives and routines have been turned upside because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a study from the mental health charity, Mind, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown.
What is World Mental Health Day?
The World Federation for Mental Health established the first World Mental Health Day back in 1992.
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness in the global community about mental health, "with a unifying voice through collaboration with various partners."
Each year millions of Britons experience mental health issues, and World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to raise the profile of mental health and educate people on it.
In the UK alone, 1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression, whilst 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point.
How can we take part in World Mental Health Day?
World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for us all to think about mental wellbeing, both for ourselves and for other people.
The easiest way to participate is to check in on friends or family who you think may be having a tough time at the moment.
You can try to take their mind off their worries, speak openly and freely about mental health with them, and be a good listener.
You can also participate and show your support for the cause by wearing a green ribbon, the international symbol for mental health awareness.
How can we make mental health better for everyone?
If you're struggling with your mental health, or you know someone else who is, there is plenty that you can do.
The main aim is to do activities which channel positive thoughts, and take the mind off the underlying cause of the angst and worry.
Handy tips and tricks include having an adequate amount of sleep, exercising, spending time outdoors, eating healthily, and helping others, which can make us feel good.
Other ways to improve mental heath include spending time with supportive people, and planning something to look forward to, like reading a new book, cycling or watching a TV series.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Written by Dr. Mike Firth, GP and Medical Director
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