Many people living with mental health conditions don’t feel comfortable talking to their friends and family about what they’re dealing with. Even worse, individuals living with mental illness often internalize the stigma that exists in our culture, damaging hopes for recovery. Currently, the average delay between the onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years. Suicide is a growing public health problem, with U.S. suicide rates being at their highest since Word War II, according to federal data. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally and is the tenth leading cause of death for all Americans.
This is the importance of World Mental Health Day, as it provides dedicated time for everyone to come together as a community and check in with ourselves and those around us. It also offers an opportunity for education, as everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts can help educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes.
The words ‘mental health’ and ‘mental illness’ are used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Only some people will develop a mental illness, but everyone has mental health, and anyone has the ability to develop a mental illness if they are not taking care of their mental health. With proper treatment, people can realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, and work productively. However, if they don’t feel comfortable reaching out for support, they will only remain stagnant.
THAT IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE CONTINUE TO NORMALIZE CONVERSATIONS ON MENTAL HEALTH.
If you’re interested in sharing your stories with mental health or are someone struggling with their own mental health and feel alone. Check out these two NAMI safe, moderated spaces: You Are Not Alone and OK2Talk.