World Mental Health Day 2023

Mental health, a vital aspect of our wellbeing, plays a crucial role in our daily lives. It affects how we think, feel, and navigate life’s challenges. That’s why this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 is ‘Mental Health is a Universal Human Right’.

Tremendous progress had been made in becoming more aware of our mental health, but it’s one thing to be aware of our mental wellbeing, it’s another to act on it and to utilise the resources we have available, so we can be the best versions of ourselves. This year at Life & Progress, it’s important to us to encourage people to become more active with their own mental health, for ourselves and for our loved ones.

The Origins of Mental Health Awareness Day

World Mental Health Day began in 1992, an effort by the World Federation for Mental Health, to collectively highlight mental health issues and put the spotlight on our mental wellbeing. It was brought about by Deputy Secretary General, Richard Hunter, and has since made tremendous progress in starting the conversation on our mental health.

Over the past 31 years, the spotlight has been put on different themes, all with the intention of unity against particular issues, whether it’s highlighting an issue, making support more available, or encouraging wellness within our collective selves.

What Does Poor Mental Health Look Like?

Poor mental health can take various forms, as it affects us all differently. Some may be able to withstand the pressures poor mental health brings, but for a lot of us it can be too much to bear. In it’s worst forms it can develop into full scale depression, anxiety, stealing away any motivation we may have. For most people, a wide range of symptoms can appear which can affect our work life and personal life, often simultaneously.  

Below you can see some of the things which can lead to poor mental health:

  • Stress: Excessive stress from work, relationships, or life events can take a toll on mental health.
  • Trauma: Past traumatic experiences, such as abuse or accidents, can lead to mental health challenges.
  • Loneliness and Isolation: Social isolation and lack of meaningful connections can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.
  • Financial Problems: Financial stress, debt, and job insecurity can lead to anxiety and depression.
  • Substance Abuse: Substance misuse, including alcohol and drugs, can exacerbate mental health issues.
  • Physical Health Issues: Chronic illnesses and pain can affect mental well-being.
  • Grief and Loss: The death of a loved one or a significant loss can trigger grief and depression.
  • Workplace Issues: Bullying, harassment, excessive workload, or job dissatisfaction can harm mental health.
  • Relationship Problems: Conflict, unhealthy relationships, or breakup can lead to emotional distress.
  • Lack of Sleep: Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to anxiety and mood disorders.

Spotting the Signs of Poor Mental Health

Recognising the first indicators of mental health concerns, whether in yourself or your loved ones, can be critical in preventing things from getting worse. Below, you’ll find some early signs that may suggest the development of a potential mental health issue:

Common symptoms of poor mental health include:

  • Persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Excessive worrying or anxiety
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or excessive sleep)
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Increased use of alcohol or substances
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide, whether active or passive (seek immediate help if you or someone you know experiences this).

What Resources Do I Have?

One of the most significant resources at your disposal, is your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Today, we want to emphasise the importance of not only acknowledging the tools you have at hand but utilising them too!

By making the most of the resources available, such as your EAP, we can take concrete steps toward improving mental wellbeing for ourselves and for those around us.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that many people silently battle mental health issues, and if you’re reading this while experiencing a similar situation, you are not alone. Countless individuals face these challenges while keeping their feelings hidden for various reasons. Whether it’s due to the fear of judgment, societal stigma, or a lack of understanding about their own emotions, the sense of isolation can be overwhelming.

Throughout different workplaces, countless individuals endure their working shifts while lacking adequate mental health support. This silent suffering only worsens the issue at hand, as proper support is needed to relive us of the issues, like stress and anxiety, which all of us experience at one point or another.

With Life & Progress’ Employee Assistance Program (EAP), you have a valuable resource available to you, helping you with any issues you may have.

If you, or anyone you know is feeling the brunt of the daily grind, or even if it’s something outside of work, you’re not alone. Contact us today, we can help, and we’re here 24/7 over the phone or online.

How Can I Do My Part?

For Mental Health Day 2023, you don’t have to make a huge gesture to make a difference. Like every other day, it’s the smaller things which can have a huge impact.

Check in on your loved ones, your family and friends, see if they’re okay. This can be as simple as asking how they’re feeling, maybe asking them to elaborate. Be present for them, ready to hear them and help them if they need it.

Check in on yourself too, ask yourself how you’re feeling. If you are struggling, remember you’re not alone and support is always there for you.

Mental Health Day: Final Thoughts

It’s important to look out for our friends and family, but a lot of us can focus on our loved one before we focus on ourselves. Make sure to check in with yourself today, or this week. Life & Progress’ Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is here to help. With 100% confidential and qualified guidance, support and information, we’re ready to help in whatever way you want.

We’re here to help.

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