Mental health is an ongoing global health issue, and one that receives regular attention from the media in the UK. Most recently, a Higher Education Policy Report has recommended that some universities need to triple their spend on mental health services, whilst mental health concerns around children are consistently in the headlines. World Mental Health Day, which happens every year on the 10th of October, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and campaign for better mental health care across the world.
About World Mental Health Day
The first World Mental Health Day took place in 1992, and has now become a global campaign. It’s mantra is to
“raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilise efforts in support of mental health”.
Whilst World Mental Health Day provides a great opportunity to raise awareness of the mental health issues affecting the world’s population, there is a theme each year which focuses on one area in particular.
This year’s theme is ‘psychological first aid’, helping to promote the ways in which society can help those who are in distress. This is especially important for areas affected by humanitarian crises, as it is important that victims receive timely mental health aid to help them deal with the situations they’re facing. Closer to home, victims of abuse or violence are also at risk of developing mental health conditions, as well as those dealing with anxiety or stress, and it’s important for us all to know how to offer the right help to those in need.
Coping with stress
As part of the campaign, the Mental Health Foundation will be launching a new educational resource on how to manage stress, as well as sharing stories and examining the impact traumatic situations and events can have on individuals. Whilst the MHF’s resource will feature detailed information, there are some things you can do now to help you manage, and reduce your stress levels including:
- Getting more sleep
- Taking up yoga or meditation
- Exercising regularly
- Cutting down on alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
- Sharing your problems with a friend or relative
If your stress is being caused by work, school or university, talk to your boss, teacher/tutor – there may be ways that they can help to reduce your workload and provide support to help you manage your stress.
If you know someone who is feeling particularly stressed, there are things you can do to help them. Just listening to someone helps in more ways than you’d think, and as part of the World Mental Health Day campaign, people are being encouraged to host ‘Tea and Talk’ events at work or at home, making a donation towards the cause. You can also share your support by posting about the event on social media, or by encouraging your workplace or school to take part.
Getting help for mental health concerns
If you are struggling with mental health issues, there is plenty of help available to you. For students, most universities have a mental health provision providing a range of services, whilst Student Minds is a mental health charity set up especially for UK students. Your GP is also a key port of call for mental health concerns, while the NHS website also has a range of resources covering a number of mental health concerns.
Show your support for World Mental Health Day on the 10th of October and help raise awareness of the issues which affect millions all over the world.