What Can You Do On Mental Health Day?
Today is the 10th October 2018. It is World Mental Health Day, a topic I am passionately becoming more and more involved in. The statistics concern me and show no real sign of improving. Suicide is now the biggest killer in men under 49 years old in the UK.
Here are some more statistics taken from the Mental Health Organisation website
In 2017, 5,821 suicides were recorded in Great Britain. Of these, 75% were male and 25% were female.
One person in fifteen had made a suicide attempt at some point in their life
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales
Depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK
In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope
It is clear that more energy, research and finance is being invested into suicide prevention which can only be a good thing. Much of the research is still unclear, and indications show most mental health issues start from a very young age. Not only do we need to investigate and improve the cure, but develop a greater understanding of the cause. Mental Health does not only effect the individual but the friends and family of the person who is suffering. Attention needs to be spent here also in helping family members cope and support their loved ones.
Whilst I support all the effort being directed towards this topic, I still feel the need to strongly encourage those individuals who are suffering the depression, anxiety and unhappiness to shift their focus onto what they can do to cope or improve their situation. This is not permission to turn your back on the help that is out there but to turn towards the proven and daily rituals such as mediation and exercise that come at the expense of your time only.
Ask yourself the honest question: What am I doing on a daily basis to improve my mental health?
If the answer is unclear or very little then perhaps this exposes the gap which needs to be filled with your devoted attention. I am not claiming this is easy to do but in my opinion its essential if you want to improve your situation.
Once I made the painful confession that I was entirely responsible for my mental health I took back some kind of control. It gave me the opportunity to lick my wounds and start rebuilding my future.