The World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues across the globe and promote good mental health for people worldwide. The campaign also encourages open conversations about mental health conditions and provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to talk about what more needs to be done to make mental healthcare a reality for all. The theme for the 2019 World Mental Health Day is ‘Suicide Prevention’.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one person dies by committing suicide every 40 seconds. This means close to 800,000 people lose their lives to suicide every year. Suicide can affect anyone irrespective of their age, gender or background. Suicide is tragic but it’s preventable. While suicide itself is not a mental disorder, there are links. Perhaps, mental illness, including depression, is one of the most common causes of suicide. On World Mental Health Day, the WHO is urging each one of us to learn more about suicide prevention and reach out to those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
The WHO defines mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual can realise his/her own potential and can handle stresses of everyday life while working productively and fruitfully, making a meaningful contribution to the community. In other words, mental health refers to your cognitive, emotional, and social well-being. Mental health affects how you think, feel, behave, and is crucial at every stage of life.
GOOD MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT
Good mental health is as important as good physical health. In fact, your physical health and mental health are closely linked to each other. Poor mental health can negatively affect your physical health, leading to an increased risk of several health conditions such as heart disease. Similarly, poor physical health can increase the risk of developing mental health issues.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON THE RISE AMONG YOUNG ADULTS
There are various researches that prove the prevalence of mental illness among young adults, especially under the age of 35. Mental illness is preventable to a large extent. “People take time and pay attention to take care of their physical bodies but take mind for granted. If people were to take the same amount of time and attention to take care of the mind, much of the mental illness issues can be prevented or nipped in the bud,” said Dr Raghu Krishnamurthy, consultant psychiatrist. That there are various external factors that can trigger anxiety, including stress in relationships, financial stress, stress from emotional trauma, stress from work, etc. It is time for people to realise that in order to prevent mental illness, they should harness spiritual health through meditation, Dr Krishnamurthy added.
HOW TO MAINTAIN POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH
The choices you make in your everyday life can hugely influence the state of both your physical and mental health. Here are a few things you can do to take care of your mental health:
- Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of good amounts of fibre, proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Healthy eating can help prevent and manage several health conditions, including depression.
- Make exercise and physical activity a part of your daily routine. It is a great way to keep you fit and improve overall health and well-being.
- Get enough sleep every night, which is very essential for a healthy lifestyle.
- Adopt a positive attitude even when nothing seems right and life doesn’t go according to your plan.
- Get routine health check-ups and tests.
- Make an appointment with a mental health professional for an annual check-up. Many people seek professional help only after a crisis has occurred.
Remember, taking care of your emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health to a long, healthier, fitter life. This World Mental Health Day, let us all take a pledge to look after our mental well-being.