Today, on Thursday 10th October, we recognise World Mental Health Day.
Mental health problems are the result of a complex interplay between biological, psychological, social and environmental factors. One in four people around the world struggle with mental disorders, yet nearly two-thirds of these people never seek help from a professional. Stigma, discrimination, neglect and lack of understanding prevent people from reaching out and voicing their concerns.
In a neighbourhood, it is important that you look out for one another. The simple act of asking how someone is, or inviting someone to tea can make all the difference in helping someone to open up. Below are a few tips for how you can work together to shed a more positive light on mental health in your neighbourhood.
Create a safe and nurturing environment: a close and welcoming neighbourhood may make those struggling with their mental health feel more safe to open up and speak about their experiences.
Let people you know are always there to talk to: if you suspect a friend or neighbour might be in need, reach out to them and ask if they need help. And do not be afraid to ask twice if you feel it is not crossing any boundaries. Sometimes the simple act of asking again can show someone you really care and help them to open up.
Do not suffer in silence: if you are suffering, talk about your concerns to another person. Whilst it may be difficult, it can be life-changing. It does not have to be a friend or family member. In fact, sometimes it is easier to talk to someone outside of your immediate social circle, such as a neighbour or doctor.
Raise awareness: host a fundraising event supporting your favourite mental health charity. Not only will this help to raise awareness and give to a good cause, but it will show those in your neighbourhood that you do care, again helping to create a safe and nurturing environment. Use OurHood to create an event and get your neighbours on board.
This year’s theme in suicide prevention.
In a previous post on Suicide Prevention Day we highlighted The World Health Organisation’s #40seconds campaign.
Every #40seconds someone loses their life to suicide. It can take us as little as 40 seconds to make a difference and:
- improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem
- improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide
- reduce the stigma associated with suicide
- let people who are struggling know that they are not alone.
It is up to you how you choose to spend this 40 seconds, but below are a few suggestions to get you going.
Don’t forget to share you messages, photos, illustrations and videos that are not of a private nature on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #40seconds and #WorldMentalHealthDay.
Find out more about the #40seconds campaign here.
Together we can work to stop the stigma on mental health and show people that it is okay not to be okay.
The OurHood Team 🙂
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