World Mental Health Day
The theme of this #WorldMentalHealthDay is ‘Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality’.
Mental Health is on a spectrum. When we say ‘mental health’ we mean a range of things, including the concept of being ‘mentally healthy’, through to experiencing mental health difficulties or a mental illness or diagnosis.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted many of the things we take for granted but are critical to maintaining our own personal ‘mentally healthy’ states. And sometimes the impact creeps up on us; we just keep going, we say to ourselves and to others “im fine” even when were not. Its ok to be ok. its also ok to acknowledge to one another that maybe we aren’t as “fine” as we say we are.
World Mental Health Day is a chance to think about those in your life you care for and offer support, inspiration, assistance, or just be there for them.
Its also an opportunity to try a different conversation about mental health. One where we acknowledge to ourselves and each other that mental health is, in one way or another part of our daily lives. We can invest in it. We can build it. We should talk about it. And in doing so, we can empower others to feel safe to talk about it as well.
Last year a group of mental health services users, survivors and ex-patients from a range of communities recognised that they had a lot to offer to the broader community impacted by the pandemic in the lessons they had learned from managing challenging times and how to navigate mental health issues. They brought those lessons and experiences together in the hope that by others reading them they “might feel less alone in..worry and isolation experiences”. Some of their tips:
- focus on the little, manageable things and most importantly, on supporting each other;
- Get enough or at least some sleep;
- Don’t drink to intoxication;
- Slow down. Move with purpose;
- Compare perceptions with reality;
- “I know I have to ground myself in the present and distract myself from my thoughts”;
- Find your focuses;
- Finding ways to feel like you have control over what you do in these times;
- Keep making plans
If you’re part of the veteran community and need support today or any other day, we’re here for you 24/7 to listen and help.
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