Today is a very important date in the calendar, as it’s World Mental Health Day – an opportunity to increase awareness about mental health, and how we as a mental health community, can spread the message about how important the issue is.
Mental health has often been such a stigma over the years, but thankfully, this is now changing due to the sheer scale of mental health problems in the UK, and the awareness raised by the likes of social media campaigns.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, ‘Mental health problems are a growing public concern. They are prevalent not just in the UK, but around the world’ with ‘mixed anxiety and depression the most common mental health disorder in Britain.’
Did you know that ‘mental health and behavioural problems are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20-29-year-olds’ according to MHF?
They also state that ‘1 in 6 people will have suffered a mental health problem in the past week.’ That’s a huge statistic and highlights just how prevalent mental health is and why it’s so important this issue is discussed.
World Mental Health Day isn’t just an opportunity to bring mental health sufferers together to show that they’re not alone. It’s also a means of communicating to non-sufferers about the ‘silent’ disease that isn’t visible to the human eye, but is so damaging to those who suffer from mental health related illnesses.
It can be hard to understand mental health problems when you haven’t suffered them yourself, but days like today can help people to sympathise and recognise symptoms, which makes sufferers feel less alone and appreciated.
This cycle of understanding is crucial, as it can save lives! The Mental Health Foundation states, ‘Between 2003-2013, 18,220 people with mental health problems took their own life in the UK’, with Scotland seeing their suicide rate ‘increase by 8% between 2015-2016, with 728 suicides registered in Scotland in 2016.’
Shockingly, ‘suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years old in England and Wales’, which is a heart-breaking statistic.
By coming together and providing information for families, friends and carers of mental health sufferers, we can hopefully be more compassionate to one another and change the way people view mental health. Let’s end the stigma once and for all, and provide help and reassurance to those suffering.