There is no health without mental health. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. So #LetsTalk (the Twitter hashtag to share stories and research and support on the social feed).
Today is October 10th, World Mental Health Day. As we go about our lives today and truly every day, we should be mindful that mental health is all about each of us individually, and all of us in our communities and in the world.
First, let’s hear from Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran (who, video spoiler alert, decides to pivot his lyrics to a draft song titled “Gingers Unite” to something more in tune with a mental health public service announcement).
The link above to World Mental Health Day will take you to the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which serves up this video reminding us that this is All of Us. In the plotline on WHO’s video, we hear about young people burdened with all kinds of stress in youth…
WHO reminds us in various campaigns on their portal that mental health impacts us as employees in our workplaces, and in our family lives.
This is truly a worldwide effort to de-stigmatize mental health and share resources globally and locally to reach and touch people.
Earlier this week, California launched the first U.S. state toll-free mental health call line — called the California Peer-Run Warm Line — at 1-855-845-7415.
Publicis Groupe, the global communications company, gave their 84,000 employees around the world the day off as part of a company-wide effort to bolster wellbeing and health. The Myers-Briggs Company, whose workplace tests on personality many of us have undertaken, offers advice for World Mental Health Day on workplace wellness and managing stress.
The gig economy can also impact mental health for better or for worse, detailed in this Healthline essay.
There are many causes of stress that erode our mental health. GlobalWebIndex polled over health citizens in the US (2,005) and UK (2,203) and identified the leading causes of stress and anxiety in each country. The top stressors are financial, work, thinking about the future, and personal relationships, shown in the circles chart from the study.
Note differences between genders: more women tend to be stressed by financial challenges, the future, and family life. More men tend to be stressed from work.
But financial worries are the top stress for about one-half of both women and men.
There has also been a rise of “Eco-Anxiety” around the world, as the evidence for climate change has gone from the theoretical to the visceral and physical reality across geographies, from the southeastern U.S. to Asia. WHO has referred to climate change as the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.
Political stress is also taking a toll on millions of people in various countries whose politics and social stresses are impacting mental and physical health. Here’s a link to the data from the American Psychological Association on political stress in the U.S. And an update, here in U.S. News and World Report, on the topic. This phenomenon isn’t just a U.S. artifact: political/social stress is a real thing across the world, notably in the UK due to Brexit, nations on the European continent like Germany and Italy, in China and Hong Kong, and in just the past 48 hours, the strife in Syria and Turkey which is also having significant and bipartisan repercussions in the U.S.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is mental health promotion and suicide prevention, underpinned by inclusive approaches to mental health.
The UK has a Minister of Loneliness to address mental health among Britons, which I’ve discussed in detail here on Health Populi. Check out the Talk to Me sculpture and film project that’s taking the stigma out of mental health in Britain and spreading art-therapy around the nation’s health citizens.
Indeed, on World Mental Health Day and every day, we must work together to nurture and sustain a healthy community….and love one another. Perhaps the best advice was given by this suicide-survivor in India: that, “Caring is the best medicine.”