You'll probably agree that this year's World Mental Health Day 2020 should be well and truly stamped on the global map! The past 7 months could be categorised as the most testing, frustrating and confusing period of time, creating a rollercoaster of different experiences and the emotions to go along with those experiences. We have almost become consumed by the 3 R's (which have changed since I were at school) Rules, Regulations, Restrictions, not forgetting the R-rate and the changes to our daily lives that have been delivered unto us. I personally believe that with challenge comes opportunity for growth, both personally, professionally and within the wider community. I'm always on the lookout for stories with positive outcomes, community cohesion, innovation and creative events, all of which deserve celebration. So, let's delve further into this Saturday's focus, so we can all reflect, work towards becoming the best version of ourselves and think about how we can shape a society in which everyone feels valued. .
What happens on World Mental Health day?
Although World Mental Health day is not simply a one day event, the build-up and exposure on television, radio and social media of the work being done by global organisations and charities such as The World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH), National Association for Mental Health (NAMH) Mind and Rethink create exposure that is desperately needed. Across the globe organisations and charities encourage meaningful conversation, discussion and raise awareness about mental illness across communities, families and businesses. Encouraging us to not only reconnect with our own mental health and seek ways in which we can do this, but also challenging the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination that is often experienced. Breaking down these barriers is essential for recovery, as the judgements from others magnify the thoughts and feelings we already have of ourselves. Raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in the support of mental health have always been central to the cause since its inception in 1992, but I think is needed more than ever in our current global landscape of 2020.
What is the theme for World Mental Health Day?
Every year there is a poignant theme which creates the foundation for its focus. This year,
Mental Health for All.
Greater Investment - Greater Access. Everyone, Everywhere…
I think you'll agree the theme is timely, apt and meaningful in order to shape a more attentive and compassionate society.
The consequences of Covid-19 has seen a sharp increase in terms of the Mental Health support needed, not only for those diagnosed with a mental illness prior to Covid and who, as a result have greatly suffered (nearly 80% of people living with mental illness say that Covid-19 and the national response have made their mental health worse) but, also for those whose experiences of the pandemic have resulted in mental illness symptoms; through feelings of isolation, loneliness, loss of friends and family members, depression, harmful substance use and job losses due to the economic impact on businesses. Knowing that everyone, everywhere should be given the support they need, when they need it is this year's focus, and whilst our current landscape is unprecedented and has raised immense challenges across the globe what can we do as individuals, for ourselves and for each other?
Why is World Mental Health Day so important?
The thing that stands out for me in terms of importance is that whilst the day provides an opportunity for experts, professors or researchers to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide, I feel this year is different and important for another reason. Whilst countries will continue to share their research, which to be fair has never really raised an awareness within me or had a direct impact on my life in the past, Covid-19 has highlighted pre-existing and newer issues that need to be addressed. The unity I refer to is that I feel Covid-19 has broken down some barriers and created more awareness on mental health amongst the population, across families, friendship groups and communities. In my observations families have come together and the bond has grown stronger, neighbours are more 'neighbourly', work colleagues are more compassionate and we are more empathetic towards strangers. Starting a conversation with “How are you?” is no longer underestimated. Everyone has a back story and once we take the time to talk, listen and understand without judgement we (not the experts, professors or researchers) can ensure that these conversations continue in the post-pandemic “new normal".
What can I do for World Mental Health day?
Has this pandemic made you more aware of your own Mental Health? I have definitely reflected, re-evaluated and looked into ways that I can take control of my Mental Health; whether that be keeping active, talking about my feelings, drinking sensibly, eating a healthier diet, putting aside time for 'me' and valuing myself as an individual, whatever my imperfections. Even if, this Saturday you take time to think about you and make one positive change to enhance your Mental Health you have made a start. Remembering that your present circumstances don't determine where you can go. They merely determine where you started. (Nido Qubein)
In terms of the wider cause there are numerous ways you can get involved to help organisations and charities raise awareness across the UK. Here are just four, each of which provide support, advice and activities you can explore, learn from and use to be a positive influence for yourself and those around you.
How does developing a mindset support Mental Health?
At Grow Your Mindset we advocate that when you become mindset aware and start a journey whereby you invite yourself to become more growth orientated this naturally has a positive impact on your Mental Health.
For instance, how you think influences how you feel, and how you feel influences how you function. To nurture mental resilience (the capacity to bounce back from change and challenge) you can view your life experiences from a pessimistic (fixed mindset) and optimistic (growth mindset) viewpoint. If you listen to the stories you tell about yourself and others and about what happens to and around you, you can reshape how you view the world, shifting your focus, attitude and beliefs towards a more growth orientated viewpoint. This does not mean because myself and Gemma advocate developing a growth mindset we are the equivalent of Dr Happy and subsequently don't experience anxiety, stress or self-doubt, we do! However, how we internalise our thoughts and feelings through a more optimistic viewpoint encourages us to deal with setbacks that arise, challenge and change with motivation and determination thus reducing the levels of anxiety and stress felt.
So however you engage with this year's World Mental Health Day remember, your Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It's about how you drive, not necessarily where you are going.
At Grow Your Mindset we love nothing more than to kick start people's journeys with growth mindset, see them blossom and change their thinking. Click if you would like more information on how you can build growth mindset across your school or business or if you'd like to experience our award winning training and coaching then get in touch with us at email@example.com or give us a ring on 07803 909838
If you love a good read, why don't you check out our other blogs about mindsets.
If you would like to know more about Grow Your Mindset click here.