Celebrating World Mental Health Day

World+Mental+Day%2C+observed+on+Oct.+10%2C+is+a+great+time+to+take+care+of+your+mental+health+and+check+in+with+your+friends+and+family.

Graphic by Emily Ishler

World Mental Day, observed on Oct. 10, is a great time to take care of your mental health and check in with your friends and family.

Emily Ishler, Staff Writer

World Mental Health Day has been observed each year on Oct. 10 since 1992. The goal of World Mental Health Day is to spread awareness of mental health issues occurring all over the world and to provide help and support to others. While a lot of people may not be aware of this day, it’s a good way to check in with yourself and make sure you’re in a good place.

This year, the month’s theme is “Mental Health in an Unequal World,” which aims to express how inequality affects the number of people who are able to access mental health services. According to the World Federation for Mental Health, 75% – 95% of people who have mental health disorders are in low and middle-income countries that don’t have access to these services. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), on average, countries only spend 2% of their national health budgets on mental health; the significant gaps in mental health care are caused by the under-investment over decades in mental health promotion, prevention, and care.

“I think it’s good to have recognition for mental health and to lower the stigma around it,” said Junior Tori Bailey. Bailey’s sentiment reflects one of the goals of World Mental Health Day.

During COVID-19, in a study published by Jama Network, the number of people showing signs of diagnosable depression rates went up by 20%. Throughout the past two years, COVID has made it harder to feel physically connected and for people to reach out to others. This especially hurts students’ mental health, especially with school being fully remote in the late 2019-2020 school year, then half remote for some people and fully remote for others in the 2020-2021 school year.

Sophomore Sila Guler explained how COVID affected her mental health.

“It definitely has affected it, not positively, but in a negative way. […] It’s made more stress put onto me with all the new teaching ways and with all the new systems and new accustoms,” Guler said.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) hosted an event on Oct. 8 in early celebration of World Mental Health Day. At the event, Dr. Renato Oliveira talked about children’s and adolescents’ mental health.

“We know that children and adolescents are more vulnerable. Also obvious[ly]…children have been out of school, have not been able to socialize many times, and they have not been able to play as they were doing before, so this has an impact on their mental health.” The video is still on YouTube and can be accessed here.

School is nearly two months in, and students are struggling with the drastic changes from being completely isolated to being surrounded by a bunch of people. Make sure to ask yourself how you’re doing and how your friends are doing. Taking care of your mental health isn’t just something that is done on Oct. 10; it can be done all year long.

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