Every year, since I started this blog, no matter how I feel and what I do, I always make time to write about World Mental Health Day.
It’s been celebrated since 1992, 26 years. A lot has changed since then, but there’s still a long way to go.
I won’t go into much detail of my own experiences, but I fell down the dark hole a couple of times, I’ve been through anorexia in my teenage years, I had a bitter taste of how hypo-chondria feels like and I’ve been struggling with anxiety for years and although I’m handling it much better it sometimes flares up. So, I know first hand what is like.
And is not just me. Many close, loved ones had their fair share of experiences.
Always remember, you are not alone, even when you think you are. God I know how tough it is. How impossible it feels to just admit you are struggling. But the moment you do it, to share it with someone else, family, a friend or dedicated helplines, it will make a huge difference.
And it’s OK not to be OK. Some days are better than others and some days are not. I’m battling with my own troubling, debilitating thoughts lately and I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep for days, I still make it out of bed, go to work, see my friends, do things most of the time and there are days that I just go straight home after work, crawl into fetal position, shut my eyes and lie there in silence, because it’s all too much to handle. And that’s OK.
After almost six centuries, since the first time the term ‘psychology’ ignited the research into the field, we finally live in an era where it is OK to be open and honest about your struggles. There is still stigma around it, but it’s getting better and more and more people, organisations, workplaces realise the importance of mental health.
This year’s theme is Young people and mental health in a changing world which couldn’t be more crucial. Mental Health Awareness, mindfulness and emotional intelligence training should be taught from a young age, children should learn how to recognise and manage their feelings and know from as early as possible that it’s OK not to be OK and that they have someone to talk to about their feelings and their struggles.
Maybe if the support was there for our generation, we would have been able to cope better, so let’s make it our goal to improve that for future generations.
I’ll close this with what I said last year, every day is Mental Health Day.
Here’s to another year of great initiatives to improve awareness and embed World Mental Health in our daily vocabulary.
PS Featured Image is one of the official World Mental Health Day 2018 posters by WHO (World Health Organisation). I do not own this image.