Mental health is a crucial part of our global health. Across the globe, hundreds of millions of people are estimated to be living with mental health conditions. On the 10th of October every year, we celebrate World Mental Health Day which gives us a chance to re-kindle our attainment to protecting and improving mental health. This year the theme was, “Make Mental Health and Well-being for All a Global Priority.”
Currently, on social networks, mental health chats have become a norm with a global reach. More people nowadays especially the young are having conversations and creating awareness freely about mental health through blogs, tweets, and videos on YouTube. Despite that, discrimination and stigma may be a drawback when it comes to social platforms, due to negative comments and labelling. But on the positive outlook well-being is gradually making its way to more recognition, where self-care and mindfulness are the game.
However, increasing social-economic inequalities, drawn-out conflicts, health emergencies, and violence threaten progress toward better well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic for instance has contributed to a global escalation in anxiety and depression, putting the mental health of millions of people at risk. Hence the need to create more value and commitment towards mental health from the individual to community level as well as involving the government and all stakeholders at large.
Due to insufficient resources on an individual level, shifting the focus to community care and involving the government to build up the right environment to thrive in seems to be the right way to do it. According to @grwthcatalysts on Twitter, “When you already have resources, it’s easy to concentrate on not being okay and getting the help you need.” It’s brutal when you make people aware of their mental health without giving them practical solutions and support like: do they have a home? Are they safe? Are they held? Are they aware if there is an improvement? And more so.
There is a need to strengthen mental healthcare so that the entire scope of mental health needs are met through a community-based system of economic, attainable quality resources and support. At the community level, it is preeminent to engage young people. It is less costly and has less pressure on the parties involved. On The Guardian’s mental health blog, a famous YouTuber confirmed that they were more comfortable expressing their thoughts on the platform and watching videos from the mental health community as compared to when they visited their psychiatrist since it felt shameful and was under a lot of pressure.
A significant impact would be achieved if we were all committed to working together that is: mental health advocates, employees, the government, employers, the youth, people with mental health conditions, stakeholders, and the community at large. By being vocal about ways to modify the environments that impact mental health and well-being negatively and deepen the value we give to mental health. Thus, World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to shed light on strategic solutions we can adopt globally.