The stigma attached to mental health has decreased over the years, but is still prevalent in many populations, especially some cultures and rural populations. Stigma is defined as a set of negative or untrue beliefs about a particular thing or group.
Including mental health awareness in our everyday lives can be easy and make a huge difference. Following are an examples of easy ways to help reduce the stigma of mental health:
1. Being open about your own mental health journey.
2. Encouraging friends, family and peers that are struggling to embark on their own mental health journey.
3. Using your best efforts to be kind and compassionate towards others.
4. Participating in mental health awareness events and activities.
Mental health should be a top priority in one’s life. It affects how we feel, think, and behave towards ourselves and others. It also affects how we can handle stress, which is prevalent in most people’s lives. Stress can be described as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives (World Health Organization, 2023). Being mentally well, can improve how we, as humans, handle and cope with stressful events.
It is important to note that symptoms of mental health struggles show up differently in each and every individual, especially adults and children. Included below are some examples of possible symptoms, separated by adults and children/adolescents.
Symptoms in adults: difficulties with sleep, low energy and motivation, sadness, nervousness, difficulties with concentration, feeling easily annoyed or irritable.
Symptoms in children/adolescents: similar symptoms as adults can appear, defiance, complaining, fighting, ignoring, clinginess. These are a few examples of things a loved one, friend, or even coworker may see in someone that is struggling with their mental health.
Look for us at the Center for Creativity and Healing wearing our bright purple T shirts with the phrases “Be Kind to Your Mind” in support of Mental Health Awareness month!
The following are some great resources for Mental Health Education and Tools: