As we draw constant attention to our lives physical aspects, it's time we delve into the world of our minds. Mental Health Awareness Week, an international initiative to create awareness and break down the stigma attached to mental health takes place from 18-24 September 2023.
Awareness Week - A Step Towards a Healthier Mind
Mental Health Awareness Week has always been significant, but it holds a special relevance in today's dynamic, stressful world. The objective is to foster understanding, empathy, and action around mental health and related issues. So, are you wondering, How can I contribute to this monumental week? Let's brief you on the key pillars to adhere to during this week:
Take Notice: Pay attention to the present moment – your thoughts, feelings, and the world around you, popularly known as mindfulness. By staying aware of the moment, we can enjoy life more and understand ourselves better.
Give: Give your time, your words, your presence. Give to your friends, family and yourself. Think positively about yourself just like the words you give others.
Be Active: Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety. It doesn't have to be rigorous or extensive; shorter active periods can add up to the same amount of physical activity.
Connect: Strong relationships with family and friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. They can enrich your life with experiences, provide emotional support, and allow you to support others.
Keep Learning: New skills can enhance your self-esteem. It can also encourage social interaction and contribute to a more active life. By incorporating these pillars into our lives, we can significantly improve our mental health. But, remember, it's crucial to continue these practices beyond Mental Health Awareness Week for a longer-lasting impact.
Breaking Down the Stigma
In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, we must break the chain of stigma associated with mental health. The fear of being judged can prevent people from seeking help, further deteriorating their mental well-being. Consequently, it's important to create a safe, non-judgmental environment, urging people to talk openly about mental health. In this endeavour, everyone holds a role. To create an atmosphere of understanding, start conversations about mental health, encourage dialogues, and share coping methods. A broad participation from all sections of society on the issue will strengthen the message to normalize mental health discussions.
Wrapping It Up
As we explore Mental Health Awareness Week, remember it's not just about this designated week. It's about paving the way for a society that accepts, understands, and nurtures good mental health every day.
If you need help, please reach out to one of the supports below:
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).
Healthline – 0800 611 116