Every year World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th. This day was an initiative created by the World Health Organization. It is celebrated in over 100 countries. The goal is to raise awareness around mental health issues and improve the lives of individuals who deal with mental health disorders. This Sunday (and everyday) take time to focus on your own mental health as well as supporting others with theirs.
One in four adults and one in ten children will experience a mental health issue every year. The stigma surrounding mental health has deterred individuals from seeking the help and treatment they need for their mental illness. World Mental Health Day began in the nineties, and since then we have slowly worked to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health. Here are some things you can do this World Mental Health Day:
Check in with a friend. Call, text, or even send a card to a friend or loved one. Sending a kind message, and simply checking in shows you care and are available for support.
Practice self-care. With World Mental Health Day falling on a Sunday this year, plan yourself a “self-care Sunday”. Make a list of things you could benefit from doing, such as spending time outside, getting coffee with a friend, doing nothing, reading a book, or organizing. Whatever you are needing, take some time for you.
Create a self-care plan of action for the week. Create a list for the week of things you can do daily to take care of your mental health.
Educate yourself. Take some time to read about different mental illnesses, their signs and symptoms, and treatments. This will help you understand the challenges that someone may be facing.
Talk openly about mental health. Stigma can take time to overcome, but the more we talk about our own daily struggles with mental health we may be experiencing the more we can work to decrease stigma. Remind people that taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical.
Volunteer. Find an organization that supports mental health locally and see how you can get involved in volunteering.
World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness surrounding mental health and understanding the importance of taking care of our own mental health. It also is a day to empower other individuals to look after their own mental health. This weekend and Worth Mental Health Day consider taking time to educate, advocate, and everyday make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.