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WESCU and Mental Health Wellness

The Importance of Attending to Mental Health

By Alyssa De Gazon-Roberts

World Mental Health Day is observed internationally on October 10th every year. The theme for this year’s observance focused on ‘Mak[ing] mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.’ For many, this can only start by acknowledging that attending to our mental health is a daily requirement.

Mental health problems have existed in most of our lives, families, and wider communities. Yet, there is still so much work to be done to ensure that mental health is treated as being of equal importance as physical health. We must continue to fight against the stigma and discrimination attached to mental illness, holding our communities accountable in creating the conditions needed for people to thrive.

Maintaining good mental health is crucial for improving our daily functioning, our relationships, and even our view of ourselves. It is also helpful in combatting some physical health problems.

How to recognize when someone is struggling with their mental health?

It’s important to know that mental illness can look different in everyone. It is critical to speak with a mental health professional to be properly supported. 

However, here are some common signs to help you determine if someone is struggling:
Social Isolation – finding it hard to relate to or understand others
Changes in sleeping – sleeping too much or too little
Low energy – not being able to complete everyday tasks e.g. work, socializing, even basic personal hygiene
Appetite or weight changes – excessive or too little eating, especially if the change is drastic when compared to previous patterns
Loss of interest – avoiding people or activities that they used to enjoy
Uncontrollable emotions – rapid mood swings or outbursts

Mental health impacts every area of our lives, including what we think, feel, and do.

Sometimes, we must have the tough conversations, with ourselves or our loved ones, to admit that something is wrong so that we can come up with a solution or provide support.

Asking for help is a sign of tremendous strength. By working together, we can create a space where “mental health is valued, promoted, and protected” (World Health Organization, 2022).

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