As we prioritize our physical health over anything and immediately take action if we do not feel well, our mental health must be the same. I think mental health should be the most taken care of because our emotional and social well-being depends on that.
It is a significant factor. It can determine how you feel or act throughout the day. Your productivity might decrease if your mental health is affected. Keeping yourself mentally healthy is vital in all the stages of your life. Right from childhood through adulthood, you must not ignore your well-being and consult if you discover any symptoms of mental health illness.
Although it has been normalized, you should not let it go. Even if the issues are common, serious help is available. Some therapists may help you with the problems, and if you are treated with love, you might recover completely. Also read Mental Health Solutions Ayurvedic Tips to Improve Mental Health
What are the symptoms of mental health illness?
When you spend some time with people, you know about their behavior, regular activities, and reactions. So, it will be easy for you to make out if someone has a mental illness because you will notice so many sudden changes in their actions. You need to be aware and look out for people around you. Some common symptoms will help you figure out if the person is not well mentally. Here are a few early signs:
- Over-sleeping or undersleeping.
- Over-eating or ignoring meals completely.
- Increased consumption of alcohol.
- Keeping away from friends or colleagues.
- More arguments with loved ones.
- Experiencing unusual pains.
- Loss of desire to do anything.
- Frequent mood swings.
- Not doing the regular tasks properly.
These might be signs that you must not ignore. Be it in your case or somebody else's; these are the signs that denote mental instability and must be taken care of.
What causes mental illness?
You cannot have a mental illness because of a particular factor. There can be several reasons that might combine behind you experiencing discomfort. People have given the causes a term called "risk factors ." The more risk factors you have, the more are the chances of you developing a mental health illness.
Also, it does not start on a single day or with a single event. It takes time to develop, and if you realize the early symptoms, you might not have to face many difficulties. Let me tell you about some factors that trigger stress.
- Environment: Your mental health widely depends on the surroundings that you live in. If you live with an abusive family, your financial conditions are not very stable, or your profession puts you under a lot of pressure, then there are chances that you will develop a mental illness.
- Childhood trauma: If the environment around you today is peaceful, your mental health might still not be stable because of the flashes you get about something very depressing that you faced during childhood. Sometimes, you cannot forget a few things even after trying hard to take them off your mind.
- Stressful events: You might face mental disorders if you have been through stressful events in your life. Be it losing someone you loved or maybe an accident that might significantly impact your mind.
- Negative thoughts: Sometimes, you tend to overthink situations that lead to negativity. You might get into depression or anxiety if you continuously keep thinking about the wrong that can happen to you. Your thought process can be affected due to that.
- Unhealthy habits: A routine lifestyle keeps you fit physically and mentally. If you have weird habits or do not eat and sleep on time, your mental health will be disturbed.
- Genetics: You might get a mental illness because of your genetics. If the disorder runs in your family, there are chances that you will also be affected.
These are the reasons that lead to mental illness. However, you can keep yourself away from the negativity and stress to keep yourself mentally stable. You must be aware of these conditions as they can help you immensely.
The stigma of mental illness
The stigma around mental illness is the primary cause why people tend to hide their sufferings and deal with them all alone. Research has proven that many people tend to ignore and not interact with someone suffering from mental illness. They have to face discrimination in every field of society. They are not treated with respect and love, be it in their office or neighborhood. In reality, things should be the exact opposite.
Due to this kind of behavior, people hide and do not seek treatment. The stigma around mental illness is the most significant barrier. Only mental health awareness can help break this stigma and educate people about the misconceptions. It will make people who suffer more acceptable in society.
What is mental health awareness?
Mental health awareness is a situation where people are more available to everyone. It is when people genuinely make efforts to decrease the stigma concerning mental health illnesses. By sharing your personal experience and the trauma that you are dealing with, you can improve your mental health conditions. Most often, you will find people suffering in silence and dealing with the stress on their own.
But what you must understand is that you should not suffer within yourself. If you are not comfortable sharing your problems with your family and friends, you should approach counselors. There are counselors available in every organization. If not, try reaching out to a therapist.
We all know we consider May as the mental health awareness month worldwide. It is when people bring to their attention what impact mental illness has on everyone. There are steps taken to educate people on this matter. Every organization takes effort and plans activities or events that bring this topic into discussion. They take public views on it, which helps people to open up better and feel normal about their situation. Mental health awareness helps from many perspectives. Let us discuss some of them.
How can mental health awareness help?
There are various factors in which mental health awareness shall help like
Bring awareness to mental health symptoms:
Mental health awareness helps you recognize the early symptoms of mental health illness. If you recognize them early and seek help in a stage where things are not very complicated, you might completely recover from the trauma. You will have to deal with lesser complications, and it might not lead you to dreadful situations like excessive consumption of alcohol and the urge to suicide.
Breaks the mental health stigma:
Mental health awareness will help to generate public awareness about this condition. Educating people that this is not a character flaw and normalizing that even this is an illness like any other will break the mental health stigma. As a result, they will face less discrimination in society and will be able to seek help and open up about their issues. They will be accepted and treated well if people consider this normal.
Increase mental health funding:
Awareness about how serious the illness is will help organizations quickly get funds for the treatment. We observe that people are ever ready to donate to treat severe diseases but ignore mental illness. Thus, mental health awareness can help save lives if it can change people's opinions about the same.
Improves access to care:
If the funding for the treatment increases, then the care that will help people improve their situation will also expand. Being aware of mental illness will let organizations launch programs that will be useful. Even schools can incorporate chapters that educate children about it.
These are the benefits of mental health awareness. It is essential to make people aware of the illness.
How can you celebrate mental health awareness month?
Like we celebrate any other occasion, we must understand that even this should be celebrated. You can take small steps in your workplace so that your colleagues can be more comfortable. Here are some ways to cherish the little things in life.
- Make an escape space: We all know how the work environment can profoundly affect our mental health. Thus, there should be a separate space that offers a comfortable environment and can be accessed by all the employees anytime they do not feel well. It can have a relaxing atmosphere created using sofas, cushions, indoor plants, and soft music.
- Mindful Mondays: We all are tired of the Monday blues, and it is difficult for us to start with a focused mind. If we take some time out before officially starting the work on a Monday and discuss our situations, it might cheer you up for the entire week. If you have a jolly mind, your work efficiency might also increase.
- A creative corner that relieves stress: A small place near the pantry can be dedicated to innovative ideas and should be accessible to the entire staff. It can have a board with stick notes where employees can write what they were grateful for. It might include motivating thoughts and quotes too. So, while they enjoy their coffee, they can spend a few minutes and indulge in fun conversations.
- Exchange wellness gifts: Just like we hold a secret Santa round during Christmas, we can introduce a wellness gift exchange program that will have a similar concept. During the mental health awareness month, employees will buy gifts for their co-workers shall mental health conditions. It can include self-help books, small plants, stress balls, and more.
- Yearly outings: Outings organized by your office will help you develop bonds with everyone, and that, in turn, will make the environment better. You can plan a short weekend trip and indulge in fun activities while on vacation with your colleagues to improve your mental stability.
- Yoga day: We all know how beneficial yoga is for everyone. So by organizing a yoga day at work, you will be able to improve the health conditions of your employees. It can be an hour session on a Sunday so that the working hours will not be sacrificed.
- Stress management workshop: There can be special sessions conducted for everyone that might teach them how to deal with their regular stress. Experts can guide them to strike a work-life balance and give tips on coping with the workplace's difficulties.
These are a few ways you can effectively help your employees deal with mental stress and help them improve their condition. Every workspace should follow these so that productivity can also increase.
We need to generate more and more awareness about mental health illnesses and be more available to people around us. All you can do is keep checking up on your loved ones and be there for them if they need to share anything. Dealing in silence is never beneficial. It would help if you were not afraid to approach people and not worry about anyone judging you for your illness.
Authored By : Poorvi Chhajer
About Author : Poorvi is a psychology graduate with a knack for writing and belief in ayurveda.