World Mental Health Day: What You Can Do


October 10, 2018

 

Part of our mission at PRJKT RUBY is to promote women’s health, reproductive rights, and the confidence to live life on your terms. That includes educating our customers and our followers about their bodies, how to stay healthy and strong, and how to feel great about themselves, despite life’s unavoidable battles. Today is World Mental Health Day and we’re sharing some important facts, as well as how you can find treatment and be involved in raising awareness and kicking the stigma of mental health to the curb.

Here are just a few important stats to know about the most common mental health issues globally and in the United States:

  • According to the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day is observed every year with the hopes of “raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.”
  • As noted by the WHO, half of all mental illnesses begin before or by the age of 14, but most of these go undetected.
  • About 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year, and “approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occuring mental health and addiction disorders,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people.”
  • Roughly 13% of women who have given birth experience a mental disorder, primarily depression.
  • Over 300 million people around the world suffer from depression, while more than 260 million live with anxiety.

Though the numbers are astounding, there is so much stigma surrounding people who suffer from mental illnesses, and the subject is still taboo. Learning and educating yourself about mental health is the first step in making a difference, but there are some other ways that you can help fight the stigma and encourage both men and women to live freely and speak up about their experiences:

  • Share your personal story — If you’ve suffered from depression, anxiety, an eating disorder or other mental illnesses, share your experience with friends or family. Not only can your story encourage others to seek help, but it can help grow a broader understanding of the subject.
  • Learn the signs of depression or anxiety so you can spot if something is off with the people in your life. Sometimes, it can take someone else to notice the problem, which can ultimately save a life.
  • Be a support system to those around you! Everyone has a bad day here and there, but being supportive and positive can make someone’s day if they’re feeling low.
  • If you’re not feeling yourself, speak up! Talk to a peer or a professional that you trust. It may be the best thing you can do for yourself in the long run.
  • Even if you don’t suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc., it’s okay to feel off sometimes. Drink lots of water, get fresh air, plan group workouts, and practice meditating as some tactics to reset and feel more calm and relaxed.
  • Join a community (like PRJKT RUBY)! Find a safe space that will allow you to talk to and learn from people with the same interests and passions as you. This will allow you to feel comfortable and safe, whether it’s in your neighborhood, at your university, or even online.

If you want to learn more about World Mental Health Day and what you can do to help raise awareness, visit the World Health Organization.

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If you or someone you know is in distress or suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255.

For a full list of hotlines + resources available to you, click here.