World Mental Health Day – Emotional First Aid

by Leah Brignall

Every year October 10th is recognized as World Mental Health Day. This is a day that acknowledges the importance of mental health awareness and taking care of yourself psychologically. Society has placed such a stigma on discussing mental health and mental illness, but it is such a critical topic to discuss. Many people struggle with feeling like they are alone when it comes to these challenges, but they are not. If it were more common to talk openly about mental illness, so many more people would be able to find help from each other, and from professionals. Lives could be changed and lives could be saved. So take this day to learn more about mental health and spread the word! Be part of the movement to stop the stigmatization of mental illness and mental health.

The World Federation of Mental Health gives a great description of what World Mental Health Day is all about:

“World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in many countries. On this day, each October, thousands of supporters observe an annual awareness program to bring attention to Mental Illness and its major effects on people’s lives worldwide. In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Illness Awareness Week in the US and Mental Health Week in Australia.

This years’s theme ‘Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All’ will enable us to contribute to the goal of taking mental health out of the shadows so that people in general feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and carers.”

Take a few minutes out of your day to watch the TED Talk by Guy Winch above. It will really get you thinking about the significance of “emotional first aid” and treating your psychological self as well as you treat your physical self. It would also be a great conversation starter to use to talk to friends and family about the importance of attending to your mental health.