OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND A CALL TO ACTION
As we set foot into month two of 2021, the topic of mental health is becoming increasingly prevalent. With a COVID vaccine on the horizon, and all the uncertainty on when to expect some normalcy to filter into our lives, now more than ever it is important to recognize the need for good mental health.
But what is good mental health? How can we know if we are experiencing poor mental health?
Mentalhealth.gov describes mental health as “our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” How we are feeling each day has a direct impact on these factors and helps us determine the outcome of every situation we are in.
It is okay to feel certain negative emotions. Feelings like concern, sadness, a little bit of jealousy and disappointment are all termed as healthy negative emotions. It is when we start to feel anxiety, uncontrollable rage, or guilt and shame, that we want to start opening up to the possibility that we may be leaning towards poor mental health, and to use that awareness as an opportunity to start making ourselves feel better.
The World Health Organization acknowledges that opening the floor to discussions about mental health plays a pivotal role in achieving global development goals.
With mental health conditions increasing worldwide, WHO states on their website that “there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions in the last decade,” and “around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental health condition, with suicide the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.”
As the future of our world, children experiencing mental health concerns at younger ages shows that now is the time to start making a change. Organizations across the world have been investing increasing amounts of time and money into educating our youth and providing them with the right tools to improve their overall mental health.
One such organization is UK based charity Place2Be, which is centred around providing counselling and support to young children and adolescents, particularly in schools.
In honour of this cause, P2B launched a special event called ‘Children’s Health Mental Week’ and dedicated an entire website to it called childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk.
Running from Feb. 1 – 7, this week’s focus is spreading the word about children’s mental health and creating a space for children and their parents to improve their mental well–being. This week’s theme will be to ‘Express Yourself’ by “finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.”
In today’s virtual world, with the increased prevalence of social media in young adults’ lives, it has become quite challenging to be able to express oneself without the fear of being judged. This week is all about encouraging each other to do it anyway.
At Reach Out Together, we could not be more excited for this week. Dear children (and adults), we are here to express ourselves with you, and cheer you on as you share the beauty of your uniqueness with us. Our only ask? As the future of the world, use this as YOUR time to shine. The world wants to know the real you – who you are in your core, what captures your attention and makes you feel excited about life. The world wants to be inspired by you, and believe us when we say that no matter what you choose to share, we will be listening and marveling at how bright the future of the world looks in your hands.
For further information, visit reachouttogether.com, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out on social media to @ROTAmbassador on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
About Reach Out Together:
Reach Out Together is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization empowering people to improve their mental health, break stigma, and work toward recovery through educational and interactive programs and events. Reach Out Together has hosted outreach events across the world, from Toronto to Mumbai. Its vision for them is to make Reach Out Together the largest global network of mental health advocates.