So here we are at day 10, Just Be Yourself for #worldmentalhealthday
Actor and comedian Robin Williams famously said, “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in four people in the world (about 450 million) will suffer from a mental health issue at some point in their lives and many of them will struggle daily, smiling through the pain. To raise awareness of mental health issues, WHO recognizes World Mental Health Day, which is held annually on Oct. 10.
Each year WHO chooses a theme to bring awareness to a particular mental health concern; the theme for 2018 is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.” This theme is intended to highlight how young people today are exposed to a myriad of issues related to technological advances and societal changes over the past 20 years. Cyber-bullying, cyber-crimes, frequent school shootings and living in an age where everything is broadcast on social media are issues today’s youth have to deal with — as if being an adolescent wasn’t enough. WHO reports suicide rates, drug abuse, persecution and isolation are increasing epidemics among today’s youth, yet little is being done to increase education about mental illness and well-being.
The intention of World Mental Health Day is to start a global conversation about mental health and wellness, which will hopefully reduce the stigma that mental health sufferers feel. Those who feel more open about their mental health issues are more likely to seek treatment and suffer less from feelings of isolation. World Mental Health Day also offers an opportunity to reflect on one’s own mental state as well as allow for the chance to educate oneself about what others may be experiencing.
I would dread being a young person today, with all the social media at hand, it is a nightmare, at least when I was younger if you had an argument you could slam the phone down on your bff, these days there is no getting away from people….
Thankfully the younger generation seem able to express themselves much better, many are able to ask for help (it’s just a shame there aren’t enough resources for everyone that requires help).
I remember working on the A&E department as part of my student nursing placement and receiving a young girl in who had taken an overdose, thankfully she was found and she got the help she required, many are not so lucky, when I was in my last year of school a boy in our class, who was always the class clown, took a shotgun to himself, I will never forget hearing that and thinking why didn’t any of us spot the signs, but I guess Robin Williams was right!
Days like World Mental Health Day are so important for raising awareness, and if it means that just one person reaches out for help then it’s worth it.