1 in 4 Adults and 1 in 10 children are affected by mental health and wellbeing needs in any given year. This means it is very likely that you or someone you know is affected by this issue. We are still in a position where there is not that much readily available support out there, unless you know where to look. Many of those affected do not even get the help they deserve and need due to the large stigma that is attached to mental health and wellbeing.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day (WMHD). This day is specially set by the World Federation for Mental Health and aims to increase awareness of mental health and wellbeing needs around the world. This is a perfect opportunity to connect with others and potentially make a difference in their day. This can be from a simple “How are you?” to a full blown awareness campaign, but the smallest of things can make a difference. Here are seven things you can do this coming World Mental Health Day that can make a difference.
The Simple “How are you?”
When was the last time you spent the time asking “How are you?” and actually listening to the response? Especially in the UK, this simple three word question is actually used as a greeting rather than a pure question. WMHD is the perfect opportunity to ask this question of somebody and take the time to really listen to them. It is also the opportunity for you to respond with more when this question is asked of you. Sharing a problem with someone may help to ease the stress you may be under.
Have a cuppa
The British believe that tea solves everything. So instead of rushing here there and everywhere, find some time on 10th October to invite someone for a cuppa. Whether it is on a break at work, or just after you’ve rushed about on the school run, this simple British ritual may be just the thing that you or a friend might need, especially on a Monday! If you’re feeling rather chatty, you could always throw in a slice of cake too. It’s a perfect time to ask “how are you?” and in between the cake crumbs and comforting slurps of tea, you might make a difference to each other’s day.
Offer to help
Many of us feel overwhelmed at times but rarely do we ask for help. This is particularly prevalent in workplaces, where there is pressure to keep mental health and wellbeing under the radar. If you see someone with that ‘head in hands’ vibe about them, ask them if they need some help. They may not necessarily take you up on your offer, but knowing that help is available and out there can make the world seem a little less daunting. This leads quite nicely to:
Spend quality time with your kids
With one in ten children also being affected by mental health and wellbeing, it is important to spend the time listening to our children to find out what is affecting them. Depending on the weather, (or just pack the welly boots anyway) take a detour to the park on the way home. This is perfect together time where they may open up to you and offload what is on their mind.
Spend quality time with yourself
Very often, we forget ourselves. Perhaps you can find some time on 10th October to do that one thing you’ve fancied doing. Go for a walk, read that book or bake a cake. Go and soak for an hour in that tub. Self care and pampering can help you relax and sort out the issues you have. You don’t need to spend any money and this little slice of time for yourself may give you enough to face the rest of the day.
Host an event to raise awareness and fundraise
There are many events around the country that are raising the profile of mental health and wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation is hosting their annual Tea & Talk event again this year. You can also get involved by simply sticking the kettle on and inviting a load of people round for a natter.