What is World Mental Health Day? Why is this day so much more important than many others? Should you even care? The answer is YES, you should!
Want to listen instead of read? Listen below! ⤵
Understanding The Significance
World Mental Health Day has been observed each year on October 10th since its creation in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health.
Its purpose serves to increase awareness of people suffering from mental health disturbances around the world. It is also a day for mental health workers to share their experiences and inform us of what needs to be changed.
Recent years in the United States of America, the UK and Canada have seen a shift in public awareness. More people are coming forward about what used to be their private battles with depression, anxiety, OCD and other debilitating mental health concerns.
However, there is still much work to be done. We must remove the stigma attached to suffering with any of these conditions. People are people and have value, no matter what the circumstance is.
Suffering from a mental health condition doesn’t make you weak. I argue that it means you have strength – otherwise you wouldn’t still be here with us. It is not easy choosing to fight it – choosing to push through when you have nothing left to give.
Why Should You Care About What World Mental Health Day Is?
If you have never suffered from depression, anxiety or one of its counterparts – I’m grateful for you. I’m grateful you haven’t had to endure the misery.
In the United States alone, the National Institute of Health, estimates that nearly 1 in 5 adults suffer from some form of mental illness! That’s almost 47 million people! These numbers are sadly increasing, rather than decreasing.
Each and every day – you are almost guaranteed to encounter someone who is suffering silently. The coworker sitting at their desk. A family member. A spouse. The drivers behind their steering wheels traveling the same roads as you. Most assuredly a stranger passerby on the street.
Mental illness may be invisible to most. But for the sufferer, it is anything but silent!
You may be blessed and never have to experience mental illness for yourself. I pray that’s the case, sincerely. But should you ever need the services of a mental health professional – this day and the people working behind the scenes are paving the way for your experience to be a helpful one.
However, if you are here reading this and are suffering from the grip of a mental health disorder – know that you are not alone. I see you and I care. As do so many others.
Just considering how many veterans are affected by PTSD and other mental health concerns breaks my heart. But it’s not just veterans.
The observance of world mental health day honors you. It honors your battle. And it beckons you to share your story too so that more people can understand the many faces of mental illness.
The Effects of Mental Illness
Mental illness is not black and white. It is not cookie cutter and your experience may be entirely different from mine. Even if our ‘condition’ has the same name.
It does not discriminate – young or old, any race, any economical status, male or female – it makes no difference.
Our childhood experiences and learning histories during life influence how we perceive the world around us. It is no secret that our unique encounters shape the lens through which we color our lives.
Many of us grew up in families who suffered from one – or more – of these mental health disorders. I did. Depression and anxiety were common in my household. It was a conversation I witnessed often.
And it shaped what I was taught about the world around me – whether that was intended or not. I know many of you can relate – with varying degrees of severity.
More often than not, someone suffering from a mental or emotional disorder automatically feel less than. It creates an isolating effect. You feel like no one could possibly understand what you are going through.Tweet
Your self-esteem takes a devastating hit because the lens you see through says you’re not good enough or that you’ll never be good enough. You will often feel like a fraud and if anyone ever knew the ‘real you,’ they’d hate you. So you adorn your face with a fake smile and power through another day. All the while dying inside.
Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders rob you of your identity. They make you feel as if you simply don’t have one apart from the disorder. It’s a lie of the disease. The beauty of you is waiting to burst forth as dramatically as the flowers bloom in Spring.Holly – ♥ wholenesshaven.com
Mental illness robs your creativity and productivity. You may find that what you once enjoyed no longer brings you pleasure. Work becomes more difficult to do. Your mind has lost its sharpness and critical thinking abilities. You feel dull, lethargic and uninspired.
Your mental power is mostly consumed with simply powering through another day. Life becomes monotonous and a chore. Much effort goes into simply showing up to the battlefield of mental illness.
Be Kinder To Yourself
Be kinder to yourself and much more patient. I think that’s one of the most important things I’d say to anyone suffering from any form of mental health disorder. Give yourself some space to acknowledge how you actually feel. Know that you have the right to feel it and you’re not ‘defective’ for it.
If you feel that you simply can’t manage how you feel any longer – reach out! Find someone you feel comfortable with. There are medical professionals, pastors and friends who care for you. Don’t suffer alone.
Medication isn’t always needed. Many times, working through the underlying issues with a qualified individual brings more relief than anything else ever could.
For me personally, Holy Spirit-led prayer has uprooted much of what hid beneath the surface, bringing healing and peace.
Please understand that I am not downplaying mental illness here. I am not implying that all mental health disorders are created equal in terms of need for prescription treatment or in any other sense.
Each and every case is unique. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. That’s okay! World Mental Health Day is for that purpose. It brings awareness to ALL forms of mental illness and the treatments needed to bring freedom for the individual.
There is no way I could discuss the topic of mental health without also mentioning suicide prevention.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a (typically) temporary problem.
My husband’s life growing up was rocked again and again by a string of suicides. It changes the lives of those lost and those left behind.
Many times when the darkness takes over – nothing else matters. In that moment, you feel desperate. You simply want out of the misery. I get it. I’ve been there.
I want to remind you: Trouble won’t last always. The storm will pass and the light WILL shine again. It doesn’t feel like it right now but it will. Talk to someone NOW who can reach down and pull you up onto higher ground.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a wonderful resource. Reach out any time, 24/7 and someone will be there to lend their hand.
World Mental Health Day Saves Lives
For all the voices who have broken the silence on mental illnesses – THANK YOU! And for all of you who are still silently suffering – we are fighting for YOU!
I know what it is to not have the words to say. There have been times I was so low, I only wanted to hide from everything and everyone. There were no words left to express and all I felt was a mind numbing pain.
Sometimes, you don’t want to talk. Sometimes all you want is for someone who loves or cares for you to simply sit by you. Just be. Maybe the words will come. Maybe they won’t.
There are some phenomenal people and mental health workers out there who know how to help. Don’t stop your search until you find one who respects you, validates you and gets what YOU need as an individual.
In these crazy times, we need as much awareness of mental health concerns as possible. We need everyone to know they’re not alone. Your voice, my voice, all of our voices together are literally saving lives. ❣
Mental health awareness doesn’t have to just happen on October 10th. Lets make everyday world mental health day by showing each other we care!
Please, share this article with your friends on social media. Thank you!!
Resources for Mental Health
World Federation for Mental Health
7 Cups of Tea – connect with an ‘active listener’ for FREE or connect with a licensed mental health professional for an affordable fee. Available online and through an app.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) – 24/7 help and referral hotline
Better Help – Online counseling platform. Fees are much less expensive than face to face counseling. Within 24 hours of signing up and expressing your needs – you get personally matched with a counselor. You can stick with them or decide you’d prefer someone else.
American Psychological Association
Talk Space – Another fantastic online counseling platform. They are affordable, accessible and are there to really help you live better. Sign up and find the right counseling match for you.
People may not understand you or your struggle. It is their loss. You must remember that you matter regardless of any mental or physical health struggles you face.
Your life matters and your voice matters. You will touch more people than you can imagine with your story.
Take care of you and your mental health. You are so very worth it!
My prayer for you today is that the Lord would wrap His loving arms around you and melt away your cares. I pray that peace would overwhelm your heart and your mind. I pray that any heaviness would lift and all storm clouds be broken. May joy reign in your heart as you live freely. My prayer is for you to experience wholeness in every area of your life. In Jesus’ name. Amen 🙂 🙏🏼
Let me hear from you… has mental health touched your life in some way? How did you handle it?
Sending My Love,
I think I’m good.. 🤪😝🙃
Glad to hear it! 🙂 I’d love for everyone to be able to say the same! 🙏🏼
This is an incredible post, Holly. It’s scary to see the stats, like 1 in 5 adults in the US and to think of how many millions of people worldwide will actually deal with mental health issues in their lives. Despite so many going through such issues, there’s still a lot of stigma, judgement, prejudice, ignorance and lack of awareness. And too many of us feel alone in what we’re going through. “Mental illness robs your creativity and productivity” – I’m glad you mentioned that because I’ve experienced this myself and it’s a bit of a catch-22 when others suggest you get arty as a form of self-therapy, or to stay busy to distract yourself or to feel you’re achieving something. It’s just not that straightforward. Wonderful post! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I am in full agreement with you Caz! It is very scary and troubling. So many suicides alone could be prevented if that person felt like anyone at all cared for them. It’s heartbreaking! Suffering in silence is one of the most dehumanizing things a person can experience, you know? I long for the day to see people free to share their true thoughts, opinions and feelings. Healing can be ugly and messy sometimes… a whole lot is involved!
I know exactly what you mean about the creativity issue. I too have been told to do something creative. Like you said, it isn’t that straightforward always. I’ve had times where I wanted terribly to write something I could see clearly in my head/heart but would stare blankly at the screen because the depression was just so heavy! I’m sorry to hear you have experienced the same or similar 🤗
The reality is we all experience mental health differently. There are patterns and similarities. Yet sometimes it doesn’t even look like the same disease in 2 different people. The brain is a remarkable organ!
Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment, Caz. Your words mean a whole lot! 🧡I hope today you are well and feeling like yourself.
This is such a great post! I’m so glad there’s so much more awareness now. I’ve suffered for depression and anxiety for years and used to be afraid to tell anyone. I would put on the happy face whenever I was forced to go out in public and on the outside I looked fine. But on the inside I wanted to crawl into a dark hole and hide forever. I still suffer with anxiety, which can cause my depression to deepen if I allow it. But I’ve learned that eating healthier and talking a walk every now and then really helps me. I know that’s not for everyone, but it works for me. 🙂
Bless your heart Michelle. You know, I think you just perfectly described how so many people experience this life – suffering deeply inside while putting on that happy face for the rest of the world. I fully relate to you. Isn’t it a horrible feeling? Hiding that way can breed such resentment too because the enemy comes in and tries to tell us that nobody cares. When in reality – nobody even knows!
Your sentence of “I still suffer with anxiety which can cause my depression to deepen if I allow it.” I’m shaking my head in agreement. The relationship between anxiety and depression are evil twins. It’s not too often you see one without the other. Plus, the enemy uses anxiety to feed us such outrageous lies!! When we don’t realize the lies are ‘operating’ again and allow them in – depression sinks in because we start believing the lies for a bit. Know what I mean? Usually there is one particular area of anxiety the enemy hits the hardest. Would you say that’s true for you too? It’s infuriating! Makes me want to kick his butt that much more when Holy Spirit brings awareness to what I’m thinking about and believing…. (sigh)
I am so incredibly grateful that eating healthier and taking a walk sometimes helps you. That has been my experience very often as well. Something about nature speaks about the power of God and brings everything into clearer focus, if that makes sense. Natural supplements have also been a Godsend here!
No words can say how much I appreciate your thoughtful reply Michelle. I cherish your friendship, thank you. ❤
I have suffered from anxiety since I can remember this post made me realize I haven’t suffered from a panic attack in 2 months thank you! I practiced mindfulness, affirmations, and just true faith in the God in me. I’m blessed to be able to say that but I’m still supporting and reaching out to people who were in my place. I think it’s amazing we want to raise awareness but I want to find a way to end it!
It does my heart a lot of good to hear that you haven’t suffered a panic attack in 2 months. Awesome! You’ve obviously been hard at work to change the direction of your thoughts. It’s not easy so good for you!
God bless you for reaching out to people who need the help only someone who has been there could give. That’s really what it’s all about – going through and helping someone else to do the same. Everyone are at different places in their journey to freedom.
Oh I agree wholeheartedly with you – I would LOVE to see all mental health disorders ended for every single soul. Awareness is a step in that process I believe. Blessings to you and yours. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂
Great article Holly. Our mental health affects our physical health, so we should take care of our thought process very well.
Blessings, Deeksha! I completely agree with you. It is incredible how much our mental health does indeed make us feel certain ways physically. I believe we are complete beings – spirit, soul and body. ❤ Always a pleasure to hear from you! I hope you are well
Thanks a lot Holly. I am doing good. Got rejuvenated after a short vacation!
A beautiful article, Holly. I used to think mental health issues were problems other people had to deal with. Never me. Yet I was walking a tightrope for a long time without admitting it to myself. Maybe if I’d been better educated about the signs to watch out for, I’d have realised sooner that I needed help – and that I needed to help myself. Thanks for spreading the word and being such a supportive presence… xx
Blessings my friend 🤗 Thank you for your kind words!
I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it’s hard to come face to face with what troubles us. It’s messy work and it can be incredibly painful. Yet when we recognize the signs as you say and decide we are worth it – oh what change we experience!
I’m grateful for YOUR presence in this mental health awareness fight. Matter of fact – I had intended to add a link to your blog in this post and hadn’t done it yet. Thank you for reminding me! 🙂
Many many blessings and much love heading your way! ♥
Aw… thanks so much, Holly. I really appreciate your support – thank you for including a link to my little blog, and for your kind, kind words. And sorry for not replying sooner… I had somehow missed this (and I need to take a look at my settings)!
You’ve made me smile… Again! 🥰
You are more than welcome! It was my pleasure. I meant every word I said. You are an inspiration and are helping endless people!
You needn’t apologize for the delay in reply. Heaven only knows how long I’ve taken sometimes to respond at times. I completely understand.
I’m very grateful to have made you smile. Lots of love to you, Eilidh! 🤗
Post officially edited to add your link ❤
This is an amazing post. I have noticed so many celebrities talking about it but never knew there was a world mental health day until now!
Thank you so much Diane! I am glad to hear that you’ve heard celebrities talking about this. It’s always nice when they use their influence for good! Far too many don’t (in my humble opinion).
Hope you are doing well today. Looking forward to your next yummy recipes 😀
To be kinder to ourselves is crucial
You are absolutely right! It’s far too easy to go the other direction. The more we love ourselves – the more we can love on others! ❤
Everyone should be kind to each other. Everyone has their own stories to tell. This is such a good article and so true. No one should ever feel ashamed for being human. I have had many family members who have anxiety, depression, ptsd, additions and OCD. I have never been officially diagnosed but I feel anxiety in certain situations and Ptsd from things from the past but I try to get through it with my art, gardening, walking and being kind to others. When I help others it always makes me feel good inside. It’s what I believe God wants, for us to love one another and be kind to one another.
I just love what you said. Kindness changes lives, doesn’t it? We never know the effect we will have on a life just by a simple smile or word of encouragement. As you say, everyone has a story to tell. And we never quite know what part of the journey or story someone is in. There is a lot of pain happening in this world today.
You are such a sweetheart and a loving, gentle spirit. I love how you work with your emotions. Art, gardening, walking and especially being kind to others — that is absolutely beautiful. You and I are in full agreement. Isn’t it amazing how when we feel at our worst and most empty – the simple act of making someone else’s need fulfilled – fills our cup with the fullest measure of joy? God is good! 🙂 We are so very very blessed my friend.
Thank you for being who you are. Your kindness and love changes the lives of those around. You are a shining example of what the love of God and heart of God looks like. He is so very pleased with you! 🤗
Thank you Holly, there are a bunch of us out here just doing our parts in trying to turn things around when it comes to the hate that seems to be growing. Lies and chaos will do that, and that is why it is so important to get to know our neighbors and connect more with one another. We are all children of God and we have examples to lead because of that, to keep peace and love on this planet. It really does feel good to make others happy.
Your post is so well written. It’s informative and encouraging. It would be great if everyone could read it and pass it along to anyone they know who might benefit. I pray that everyone in the world has the chance to know “ The beauty of you is waiting to burst forth as dramatically as the flowers bloom in Spring.” Let your light shine. You ARE beautiful! Thanks for your vital sharing.
Oh Jan, you are so precious!! Wow. I am blown away and humbled by your kindness and touching words. Truly. 🙏🏽 Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
Like you, I pray everyone can understand their value and know that they are beautiful. Not the superficial kind of beautiful. The true, lasting beauty that can only come from our Father in Heaven. ♥
Thank you again. I wish there were words grand enough to describe how you’ve touched me tonight. 🤗 I sincerely appreciate you coming by and sharing your thoughts with me.
Thank you, Holly. Like you, I appreciate comments that show me the reader has truly read my blog – and has given it serious thought. Yours was very thought-filled!
It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? It’s a good feeling to know someone has taken interest in your art, how you’ve shared your heart. I’m enjoying every moment on your blog 🙂
Thank you so much!!
This is a really informative post Holly! Thanks for sharing!
Aw! Thank you so much Renee! God bless you 🙏🏽
I am your newest subscriber, dear Holly! You are raising awareness here and I commend you for it. The mental health stigma still exists, unfortunately. I’m glad for activists like you with your huge heart.
Christy! So good to see you here my friend! 🤗 I agree, the stigma definitely still exists. So many go without help or a listening ear because they are afraid to admit something isn’t right with them. That is tragic!
Your words mean so much to me. I want everyone to know they matter. We can’t talk about natural, wholeness living without reminding people they have value and purpose, no matter where they’re at in life. ♥ You really blessed me by sharing this on social media too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I thank you for sharing this awareness. 😊❤️
You are so very welcome Winnie ♥ Hope you are well!
I hope you are too! ❤️Been a bit busy.
I hope you can get some much needed rest sweetie. Easier said than done, I know! It has been a bit nuts here as well.
Indeed, dear Holly! I hope you get some rest too. You take care. ❤️
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Glad you’re mentioning this. The more we talk about it the better we can tackle it.
Thank you Laura! I wholeheartedly agree with you.
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