On October 10th each year, the world comes together to honour World Mental Health Day. Originally declared in 1992 as a day for advocacy and awareness, World Mental Health Day continues over three decades later—today, with a deeper understanding of mental health itself.
An estimated one in eight people worldwide face some kind of mental health challenge. While there are too many types of mental health concerns to list, some are more common than others. These include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Substance addiction
- Eating disorders
Remember: you never know what someone is going through—especially when it comes to mental health. That’s why it’s so important that we as a global community recognize World Mental Health Day. With each passing year, our understanding and empathy grow, allowing us to better support those who are struggling with mental well-being.
So whether you’re a parent supporting your kids, a partner helping their loved one, a friend, a teacher, a coworker, an employer, or anything else, here are a few ways to honour World Mental Health Day.
Learn About Mental Health Challenges
Whether you’re dealing with mental health challenges or not, educating yourself on the signs, symptoms, and strategies for common mental health obstacles is a great idea. Learning the signs of a condition like depression can be useful for recognizing them in yourself or your friends later on, meaning you’ll have a greater understanding of the situation. This means you’ll be more effective at helping yourself and others should the symptoms of these conditions present themselves.
Offer to Listen
Do you have a friend or family member who’s been going through challenges with their mental health? World Mental Health Day is a great time to sit down with them and offer to listen. If your loved one is willing to share, having someone sit down and truly listen can be a huge help. Ask questions, leave space, and pay attention—a small act like this can go a long way in making someone feel supported.
Share Your Story
Have you gone through difficult times with your mental health in the past? Are you dealing with something ongoingly? Sharing your story with a loved one can be a great way to enhance your perspective while also breaking the stigmas that many (subconsciously) carry about mental health issues. Don’t feel pressured, but give it some serious thought. Talking it out can be a big help, even if that just means venting a little and getting it off your chest.
Learn About Mental Health Resources
Take some time to educate yourself on the many resources available for those who are struggling. These are great to be aware of for yourself and for people in your life. If there’s a specific mental health concern, you can often find free resources that deal with that specifically.
Not sure where to start? Canadians have access to lots of high-quality resources, whether they’re healthy coping strategies for life’s tough moments or 24/7 suicide hotlines for urgent support. Our clinic’s Resources sections are also great places to look.
Plan a Mental Health Day
What better time for a day off than World Mental Health Day? We all need a break from time to time, and this is a great day to do it. If possible, consider taking time off of work (or offering the day off if you’re an employer) to do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s a hike through the woods, a day at the spa, or simply a quiet day at home with you and a book, we encourage everyone to take a personal day to help relax and reset the mind.
Give Yourself Some Self-Care
Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but there’s a reason it has become so prevalent. We need time to recharge and recuperate, and we deserve to have time that’s solely dedicated to our happiness. We also need time to get help when our health, both mental and physical, need it the most.
Whether it’s a facemask and Netflix alone or pizza and a drink with friends, or scheduling in time to attend a therapy session or a check-up at your doctor’s office, doing things to care for yourself at all levels is essential. Figure out what brings you the most joy or areas where you need the most help in your life, and schedule time in your day to make this self-care happen.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
Related to the last point, try to carve out some time to simply hang out with the people you love. Whether friends or family, partners or pets, quality time with those you care about will go a long way in putting your mind at ease, reducing symptoms of certain mental conditions, and raising your confidence.
Talk to a Professional
Last but certainly not least, there’s always the option of working on your mental health with the help of a professional. Counsellors, therapists, and other mental health experts can be a huge support for those who are going through something. Whether you’re dealing with a short-term struggle or a lifelong challenge, therapy has the power to help you develop a set of strategies to help you take life as it comes.
At Hopewoods, we support your mental health needs with a customized, comfortable approach to mental health. With more than a decade of experience, several talented psychotherapists at our clinic, and a great deal of free and affordable resources to share, we’re here to help you get to the root cause of your mental health challenge, restructure your perspective for meaningful change, and help you navigate the twists and turns of this journey we call life.
If you’re ready to start working on your mental health this World Mental Health Day (or any other day of the year), we’re ready to support you. Get in touch with one of our staff today. You can also book a free 30-minute consultation here.