Mental Health Awareness Week is held in May every year, but the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to raise awareness about a specific issue on World Mental Health Day on October 10th every year. It is integral to ensure that people are comfortable talking about mental health and that any related topic is not feared.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2018 is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.” Adolescence and early adulthood are important periods in life. So many exciting changes happen, but these changes can often bring about feelings of stress, apprehension, and anxiety. The worst thing a young person can do for his/herself is bottle up these feelings and avoid communicating them to anyone, because that can lead to mental illness.
Did you know that 50% of mental illness begins by age 14? Common mental illnesses in the adolescent years include depression and anxiety, both of which can lead to suicidal thoughts or risky behaviors that put lives in jeopardy. Considering that suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 15-29, it is best to open the discussion about mental health so that the condition or feelings can be managed.
There is growing evidence that providing support for adolescent mental health brings greater benefits in the long run. Aside from overall health, findings indicate that the importance of building mental resilience leads to greater contributions to family, the workforce, and society as a whole.
Prevention can only begin by detecting and understanding the early signs and symptoms of mental illness. Building mental resilience is integral for adolescents to feel confident and maintain self-esteem. While teachers may provide psychosocial support in school, it is best to make the adolescent comfortable at home, a place where he or she shouldn’t be afraid to talk about feelings or sensitivities.
Always talk about mental health. The less we talk about it, the less we can offer help and promote healthy societies.