Taking care of one's overall health shouldn't just encompass physical health. Instead, it should go as deep as to include mental health. The latter is a pressing concern nowadays, with statistics alarmingly showing how there seems to be an increase in the number of individuals going through mental health problems. From anxiety and depression to even more severe cases like schizophrenia, mental health touches everyone's lives and families differently.
If you or a loved one is going through a mental health problem, you have first-hand experience of how it can drastically change one's life. Gone are the days when mental health concerns should be given a blind eye or swept under the rug. It's essential to raise awareness and let other people with mental problems know they're not alone. More importantly, through empathy and goodwill, you can give a gleam of hope that one's mental health problem isn't the end of their life.
There are many ways to advocate for mental health, a few of which are discussed below.
The effects of going through a mental health problem can be severe for many. It takes an emotional toll on one's life and can be a heavy financial burden due to therapy and medication. Moreover, it can have severe effects like unhealthy coping mechanisms and even the loss of life.
Those reasons are only a few of the many driving forces why companies, institutions, and public and private institutions support mental health fundraisers to help individuals with their therapy needs, among others.
Supporting a mental health fundraiser is one of the best ways to raise mental health awareness. The more supporters that fundraisers have, the more popular they'll be. You can help an existing fundraiser by offering financial assistance on their Beyond Blue fundraising page or by spreading the word to family and friends. Even the slightest help counts with fundraisers, so whatever you can afford to give already matters.
Social media can be an excellent platform for reaching a broad audience. You can use your page to spread positivity, which can be helpful for those who need a caring presence online. Start by sharing self-care tips on social media.
The hustle and bustle of daily life make it difficult to spare time for self-care. Some feel guilty about giving time to themselves, especially new mothers undergoing many postpartum hormonal changes on top of the woes of being new parents.
It's time to tell the world (or at least your social media followers and friends) that self-care isn't selfish. Self-care is vital for maintaining good mental health. Even if it's just half an hour of alone time in a day, self-care can significantly affect one's self-esteem and confidence.
Many people with mental health problems feel they have to mask their feelings. Frequently, there is fear of judgment or invalidation. Many people experiencing mental health problems think that their family, friends, and colleagues have seemingly perfect lives and that their experiences may be burdensome. Worse, they feel ashamed to open up about what they're going through.
You can help them manage their mental health issues by creating an open space to discuss their experiences and concerns. You don't need to be a therapist to provide comfort; you can lend an open ear, as a friend, partner, or family member would. Don't feel compelled to talk. Sometimes, those with mental health problems need someone who listens. By doing this, you can make them feel supported and valued.
Setting an example is a great way to encourage others to follow suit, which helps create a positive cycle where friends and family listen and give attention to each other's needs. In the long run, more will also be aware of the importance of addressing mental health problems.
Professional help is out there; people only need to approach and ask. Remember that there's no shame in admitting that someone needs professional help. Every person should go through routine visits just as they would with a physician.
Therapists and counsellors are professionals with the skills, knowledge, and resources to help deal with the effects of mental health problems. Letting victims know that help is available may be the final push they need to go and seek one.
Mental health problems have been an increasing concern for many years now. The initiatives to support and combat mental health issues also haven't been sparse. Today, mental health should no longer be considered taboo. It's a discussion that should be openly laid out on the table. You can advocate for mental health and help support this cause through initiatives like those discussed above. There are many more, so don't take this as exclusive and all-exhaustive. What matters most is that you know you've made a difference, even if it's just in one person's life.