Tomorrow, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day. “This annual program was created as a way to bring more attention to mental illness and its effects on individual life, work, family and overall stability of communities and countries.”1 It was a day founded by the World Federation for Mental Health in 1992.
Each year, World Mental Health Day has a theme. In 2019, the theme focused on suicide prevention. This year, the theme is ‘Move for Mental Health: Let’s Invest.’
“World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for the world to come together and begin redressing the historic neglect of mental health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental well-being, and this is just the beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching.”2
Amidst all that the year 2020 has thrown at us, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. If you’re one of the 46.6 million*3 American adults already struggling with a mental illness, this can be devastating. The effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions will be felt for years to come.
While 46.6 million is staggering and hard to comprehend (the National Institute for Mental Health says it’s roughly one in five adults), we have to focus on those smaller areas where we can make a positive impact. Take our own communities, for instance. We each have a circle of people we know and interact with regularly. People at work, school, the gym, church, sports fans, hobby groups, and more. Its in our own circles of influence that we can make a change.
What if even those smaller circles still seem too big? Invest in your own mental health! Exercise, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep all help contribute to an overall sense of well-being. It’s important to remember that “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present”—Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda. Just take it one day, on hour, one moment at a time!
On World Mental Health day, it’s important to realize that even if you don’t struggle with a mental illness, chances are high you’ll run into, or already know, someone who is struggling. How can you invest in their life today?
On a national level, Team RWB is seeking to #ChallengeTheStigma by “reaching out to 10 battle buddies, and taking 10 minutes to prioritize your own mental health” with their Pledge 10 campaign(#RWBPledge10).
Missing all the normal Hollywood hype for upcoming movies? Then you certainly won’t want to miss this film. Coming to video and online streaming on November 10 is the release of the film by EMMY-Award winning Director/Producer Jerri Sher titled Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain. The film follows the touching life-stories of professional athletes, current soldiers and Veterans, and first responders who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and how they have found incredible healing to return to healthy, functional lives. Use this video as a talking point this weekend to start the conversation with your friends who may otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about mental illnesses and bring something into your life that you can look forward to in a month!
TMS Solutions is excited to be featured in this documentary and continues to work with patients seeking the use of this life changing technology. TMS Solutions founding partner Christopher Blackburn, “Our role in the documentary, and most important Dr. Sammons role and Mark’s, only helps to create awareness and education about TMS. It’s amazing to see an entire life transformed in a few weeks after a patient has struggled for years! It is, indeed, life changing for the patient and motivating for us to work harder and create TMS awareness and education!”
Regardless of what you do tomorrow and this weekend, take time to recognize those struggling around you, and at the very least, invest in your own mental health so you can play the role in your community that only you can to make this world a better place.
- https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml#:~:text=Mental%20illnesses%20are%20common%20in,(46.6%20million%20in%202017). That number was from 2017, so the number of American adults struggling with mental illness today is likely greater.