The issue of mental health is getting more attention in the news lately, but we are not still ready to deal with it in a proper way. Let’s talk about why education and self-awareness are the two pillars to drive awareness further and help people take action.
A fast-paced work environment, a mostly indoor lifestyle, the pandemic, and many other factors chip away at the people’s mental health. As a result, people of any age, gender, or social status are susceptible to dips in their overall mental health well-being.
While this is a normal cycle in the life of a human being, sadly, there is a stigma attached to the term ‘mental health’. Many still associate the idea with being crazy or seeking attention which is why people who should be seeking help tend to ignore the early signs and bottle everything up. There is also the idea of ‘just a phase’ and the fact that society expects men to be stoic and forever enduring while, at the same time, pushing women to be working mothers who can do everything.
The results are horrifying since these high expectations push people into burnout, suicide, and addiction (to name a few of these results). Therefore, mental health awareness is an important issue of our present and future, especially now when we’re expecting the aftermath of the pandemic.
What we can do to help?
You don’t have to experience mental health issues or even come in direct contact with them in order to be aware of the problem. Given that this is such a widespread situation and education is lacking in many aspects, each and every one of us can contribute to increased awareness by studying on the matter.
First, it’s important to read on the subject from reliable sources (there are many trustworthy websites and blogs available online) and share the information using your social media channels. In addition, if you want to dig deeper, it helps to take a mental health online course and get involved with institutions that provide such services.
Another method to help increase awareness is to pay attention to the people around you and support the ones that seem to go through rough times. More often than not, addiction or bad behavior hides deeper suffering, that can be addressed with the help of a specialist. Your role in this situation is to acknowledge that person’s suffering and let them know there are ways to improve.
Address your own bad habits
Whether it’s working too much or binge-watching too many shows, we all have a way to descend into darkness (to be a bit overly dramatic here). Still, it is a proven fact that burnout is a contributor to a poor mental health state, and people who look unmotivated feel this way because they are mentally and physically tired (in most cases). So, if you feel a tendency to procrastinate and you’ve lost the will to go out and have some physical activity, it may be the time to analyse and understand why this happens.
Overall, changes in behavior are predictive of a change in our mental state before we even come to realize it. So, if your loved ones tell you something is changed in your regular demeanor, pay attention and check for clues. With mental health issues, like with any other issues, it is best to start treatment early.
Oli Kang is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses AU.