World Mental Health Day

Over the years, there has been increased awareness on the need to pay close attention to mental health as it is conceivably one of the leading causes of suicide in our world today. World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 and is now observed on 10th of October every year as a day for universal mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

There is an urgent need for mental health awareness in this generation especially among our youth who through social media and technological advancements have become vulnerable to mental illness.   Suicide and Depression are the second and third leading causes of death respectively among young people aged 15-29 and among the world populace, several cases of mental illness go unnoticed and untreated because we are not paying attention to our mental health. Hence the importance of days like this which gives us an opportunity to encourage unfiltered discussions on mental illnesses and how it can be prevented and treated.

Mental illness affects the mind and body.  The precise cause of most mental illnesses remains a mystery although research has shown that it is influenced by a combination of biotic, psychological, and ecological issues. Millions of people are living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and this has negative effects on how they think, interact, perform at work or school and their general way of life. Act of discrimination, violence, bullying and intolerance also contribute greatly to mental illness because of the horrific effects it has on people. Thankfully, there is an increasing desire to of help people build mental resilience especially from a tender age to assist them in facing challenges in the world and overcoming them.

We can all assist in preventing mental illness and creating cognizance to mental health by first understanding mental illness. We should be able to render psychological or physical support to people who need it and not see their illness as a joke. As humans, we are on the same journey trying to discover our place in the world and we can do that by helping each other people with mental illness should not be discriminated against, but showered with love and understanding.  In celebrate World Mental Illness Day, we must talk about the need for more programmes concerning mental health and encourage government to invest in both the physical and mental health of the citizens. Wear green to show support for the cause, reach out to a friends, coworkers and family make sure they are doing well, reach out to someone you know or sense is going through a tough time and lend a helping hand or listening ear you never know you might be saving a life. For anyone going through struggles in the words of Alex Myles, ‘You Are Not Broken You Are Breaking Through’.