Let’s celebrate Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week

Each year in October is World Mental Health Week.

Given that our mental health is just as important as our physical health it’s a timely reminder that we can all shine a more positive light on mental health.

According to the ​World Health Organization​ (WHO) mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Even just learning a bit more about mental health and helpful resources that are available to you and your loved ones, work colleagues and friends, can help reduce stigma. It may even encourage more people to seek help for their mental health and well-being, and that of course, is what mental health awareness days aim to achieve.

What’s it all about in 2018?

The focus of the WHO for this year’s Mental Health Day is ​“Young people and mental health in a changing world”.

For young people, there are many factors​ which can contribute to stress and a decline in mental health during adolescence.

These include, but are not limited to:

a) a desire for greater autonomy,
b) perceived pressure to conform with peers,
c) violence of any kind (including harsh parenting and bullying)
d) socio-economic problems
e) quality of home life
f) relationship with their peers
g) exploration of sexual identity, and
h) increased access to and use of technology.

Is it any wonder then that adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits that are important for mental well-being?

Helpful habits and skills that can be developed may include:

  • healthy sleep patterns
  • regular exercise
  • coping skills and setting goals
  • problem-solving skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • learning to manage emotions, and
  • supportive environments in the family, at school, and in the wider community

Unfortunately, the consequences of not addressing a decline in adolescent mental health can extend to adulthood. Similarly, both physical and mental health can be affected which can limit opportunities to pursue meaningful activities and vocations and lead fulfilling lives as adults.

Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world.

Parents, schools, community groups, workplaces all play a role and mental health promotion campaigns such as World Mental Health Day and mental health prevention programs are key to helping adolescents thrive and survive.

Meanwhile, closer to home… …..

In South Australia, another annual event that aims to​ improve community awareness in mental health and wellbeing is Mental Health Week from the 7-13th October, 2018. All South Australians are encouraged to consider their own mental health as they would their physical health. We are all encouraged to help look after our minds by:

  • prioritising sleep, eating nourishing food, scheduling regular exercise and reducing alcohol and drug consumption ​and​​,
  • learning how to manage our daily stress and maintain healthy relationships

Everyone’s mental health and wellbeing is important.

If you have been thinking about improving your mental health one of the first steps is to speak to your GP or contact us here at Attuned Psychology to make an appointment with any of our highly experienced psychologists.

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