“Mental health…. is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive not where you’re going.”
- Noam Shpancer
10th October is World Mental Health Day. A day designed to put the spotlight on a massive health issue.
300 million people around the world experience depression and 260 million from anxiety disorders. What’s more astounding is the financial impact mental health places on our health economy.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates the annual cost of mental health in developed countries to be 4% of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means mental health costs every Australian who lodges a tax return $4, 000 every year.
Why so much? Because mental health cuts deep. It affects our productivity at work and has many almost unmeasurable costs such as loss of wellbeing, pain and suffering.
What can you do?
1. Make a promise to promote good mental health for everyone in our community
Head to the Australian World Health Mental Health Day website. Make a pledge and share it on social media. It could be sharing ideas to promote health and wellbeing with your work colleagues, continuing to talk about mental health to reduce stigma or working on your own mental health so you can support others in need (when they need it). You can check out their website here for loads of ideas and pics to share.
2. Maintain your physical health and mental health at a time that works for you (and if you want to)
Our physical and mental health work in alignment but importantly pursuing health is not a moral value. If we are unable to take part in health promoting behaviours (or don’t wish to), that’s perfectly OK. If making some changes to your eating to help manage a particular physical or mental health concern is something you’re interested in, then by all means, have a chat to your local friendly Dietitian.
3. Know where to go for help when you need it
- Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute are great for all sorts of support information about mental health
- Heads Up provides training and resources for creating good mental health in the workplace
- The Butterfly Foundation has loads of info and support for community members living with Eating Disorders
- Reach Out is a website aimed at supporting young people
- SANE Australia has info and support for suffering from all mental health conditions; especially complex conditions like Schizophrenia, Psychosis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Snapshot is a phone app designed to help you track your mental health and wellbeing
- Of course, there are variety of mindfulness ph apps and books which can help with managing depression and anxiety
- Lifeline and the KidsHelpline are great support telephone services too!
So whether you are experiencing mental health concerns or know someone who is, today is a great day to put mental health in the spotlight!