World Mental Health Day is observed every year on October 10th with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues. It provides an even greater opportunity for all stakeholders working on this issue to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
Mental health is essential to our overall well-being and as important as physical health. When we feel mentally well, we can work productively, enjoy our free time, and contribute actively to our communities. At French Connection, we feel strongly about this topic especially in these times when the COVID-19 pandemic is making huge changes to our daily routines all while causing fear and worry.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things that we can do to look after ourselves and help others who may need the extra support and care and so we’ve compiled a list of resources and information we hope will be useful to you and those you care about.
The World Health Organization has an excellent guide titled, Doing What Matters in Times of Stress, that aims to equip people with the practical skills to help them cope with stress and adversity.
Other smaller ways in which you can take care of your mental health that are impactful are:
- Minimizing newsfeeds, screen time, and use social media for positive stories
If you normally fall asleep watching Netflix, turn off the TV from time to time and use that time to read, journal, call a friend, take a bath
- Taking a mental health day
Healthline.com has useful tips on when/how to take one and what to do to make the most of it
- Not forgetting social contact
It is tougher to do so in these times when our movements are limited, but keep in regular contact with people close to you by phone and social channels
- Setting a routine
Get up and go to bed at similar times, keep up with personal hygiene, eat healthy meals at regular times, exercise as much as possible even if it’s a walk around the neighborhood, allocate time for working and resting
Taking a few minutes each day to calm down and focus on your breathing plays a big role in combating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
And finally, one of the most important things you can do is get help and not deal with things alone. There is no threshold that needs to be reached before you seek out therapy. If what you’re experiencing isn’t going away and is interfering with your daily life, finding someone to talk to is imperative. There is no shame in seeking professional help and caring for your wellbeing.
Finding the care that fits your needs the best can take some time. Psychology Today has some great tips on how to find the right therapist for you, while organizations such as Inclusive Therapists and Therapy for Black Girls can also help narrow down that search.
The unfortunate case is that relatively few people around the world have access to quality mental health services which is one of the issues World Mental Health Day is bringing awareness to. However, there are ways in which you can find what you need no matter your insurance or financial situation. This article provides a list of affordable mental healthcare options such as sliding-scale therapists, support groups, and free or low-income options. For ones in your area, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine or go to MentalHealth.gov.
If you would like to support some organizations that are providing help and raising awareness please consider donating below:
The Jed Foundation
Mental Health America
Sad Girls Club