October 10th is World mental health day, this year’s theme “Young people and mental health in a changing world” focuses on creating mental health awareness for adolescence and early years of adulthood.
The pressures for us millennials in a dynamic world driven by technological advances is overwhelming, some of these pressures when not recognised early and managed properly deteriorate your mental health.
Are you facing depression, know someone who is or had faced depression? Here are things you need to know about your mental health I have learnt on my own journey.
1. Don’t Let Stigma Stop You
We are all prone to being unwell, hence it is ok not to be ok. According to the World Bank, 22% of Nigerians are faced with chronic depression and even with this number, there is still a large stigma, poor policies and uneducated opinions about why someone facing depression shouldn’t be depressed.
Pay no attention to the naysayers, it is ok to be depressed but even more important to seek help from professionals, organisations and your mentally aware support system.
2. Never Too Old or Young
You are never too old or young to faced with mental health challenges. According to WHO half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. Ensure you are not overwhelmed by “why me”, anyone can be faced with mental health challenges.
3. You Need to Be Active
I started cardio-exercise as a result of my mental health challenges in 2015, this helped my recovery process when I relapsed into a poor mental state. Exercise and other physical activities are backed up by research which shows that it is beneficial to managing depression, stress and anxiety.
4. Educate Yourself
In a country like Nigeria where basic healthcare issues and access is still a challenge, educating yourself about mental health could help be your best care provider especially when you do not have access to professionals. Seek information about mental health trends around and the world, also will help you to become an informed support system of others in your network.
5. Be Your Brethrens Keeper
We are largely in a society where every help and information counts towards salvaging a soul. Look out and be a support system, mentor and you may never know who your listening ear might be all they need to make progress.
6. There Will Always Be Depression
Many mental health professionals have referred to depression, anxiety and stress as a “forever kind of illness”. You will always have a reason to be depressed, study yourself, learn how to manage your mental health and do not ignore it if you need help.
Final Thoughts on World Mental Health Day
As we strive for World and people with better and improved mental health, kindly remember you can manage life’s pressures. Challenges will come and go, when you attain all the goals you have set today, there will be new frontiers to conquer.
Seek professional help when in need, speak to someone mentally aware, be easy on yourself because life is a continuous journey, not a destination, cheers.