Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World
Since 1992, ‘World Mental Health Day’ is officially commemorated every year on October 10. It was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary Richard Hunter.
During the initial couple of years, this day aimed towards promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public on relevant issues. However, as the day grew in significance it was decided, in 1994, to have focused themes each year. The first theme in 1994 was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World”. Within three years, WMHDay had become a valuable occasion for interested government departments, organizations and committed individuals to arrange programs to focus on aspects of Mental Health Care and Awareness.
This year the World Federation for Mental Health focuses on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World – the theme for World Mental Health Day 2018.
Are you young at heart and age?
Do you see yourself engaged with a lot of things in all walks of life simultaneously?
Have you ever felt mentally drained, involved with things you didn’t see coming next, and unable to have answers to your own thoughts at times?
Well, you are not alone – Welcome to the age of adolescents and early years of adulthood!
This phase of life comes with many challenges and changes. From changing academic institutions, advancing from school to university, figuring career paths out at internships and jobs, strengthening and creating social networks, forming romantic relationships and creating an important online presence. Alert – there is a lot going on! The life of a young adult is anything but easy!
The emotional rollercoaster this stage brings makes this phase at times stressful; especially when you are trying to live up to self-created expectations. If this phase is not managed well one can become vulnerable to mental health concerns. The pressures of everyday life can affect us all, and if not addressed it can often lead to loneliness, depression, suicide, and engage in risky behaviours, emotional difficulties, and much more.
Many mental disorders begin from an early age but often go unnoticed, undetected and untreated.
Consider three steps for better mental health:
First, become aware and be present, spend a few minutes each day introspecting.
Second, acknowledge your emotions, moods, and feelings of both the positive and not so positive!
Third, when in times of disturbances and unmanageable difficulties, it is best to speak to a mental health professionaland gain insight about your thoughts, emotions, actions, and behaviours. It is best to speak it out loud! Remember, a therapist/psychologist is always there to listen to you, without any judgments and biases. Psychologists are there to provide unconditional positive regard, and assist you in finding the wisdom from within to learn to cope with the various situation life throws your way.
Reference: September 25, 2018. World Mental Health Day History – World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved from https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day/