World Mental Health Day 2020 is celebrated on 10th October however, Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020 starts on October 4th [Sunday] and will end on October 10th [Saturday].
Have you ever heard about a mental illness awareness week? Do you know what it is about and what is the underlying purpose and idea of this week? This article will enlighten you with the basic idea of an awareness week related to mental health. But before diving into the main topic let’s talk a little about mental health awareness and why it is needed.
Mental Health Awareness
Mental illness is itself a physical illness of the brain which results in various problems in everyday life. For instance, a sudden change in behavior, emotion, and energy will affect your thinking process and hence you won’t be able to accomplish your day to day tasks properly. According to research, mental illness could be caused by a deformity in brain structure, genetics, experiencing trauma, and poor brain chemistry.
Anxiety disorders and mood disorders are among the two most common conditions of mental illness. Research says that almost 18 percent of people are affected by some anxiety disorder per year. On the other hand, mood disorders affect about 10 percent of people every year. Mental health awareness informs people about these conditions and problems so that they can get proper treatments at the time.
Why Do We Need To Aware Of People Of Mental Illness?
A lot of people have different opinions about which one is a worse mental or physical illness.
Well, in my opinion, mental illness is worse than physical illness because of the below two reasons:
- The first reason is that you can fight any physical disease if you have strong will power. On the other hand, a mental illness will make you weak mentally and so you might not be able to get yourself out of that situation. List item
- The other reason is that mental illness gives rise to several physical diseases. If you have a mental disease or problem, you are most likely to develop physical problems as well. A common example of this is “Depression”. We all know that continuous depression leads to a decline in physical health by affecting your digestive system, blood pressure, and other heart problems.
Now to further emphasize my point, I will tell you about some statistics around the world related to the number of people being affected by mental illness.
The situation is no different in the United Kingdom. Almost one in every 4th person suffers from mental illness each year. This shows the severity of the problem in this area. If we talk about South Asia that consists of about 23 percent of the world’s total population then the number here is quite big. About 150 to 200 million people are mentally unfit or unhealthy in this region.
The problem is that just about half of these people are willing to treat their mental illness. This is because of the stigma attached to society about mental health. Even in this modern age, still there exist a lot of people who are not willing to accept their mental problems, and hence they are hesitant to get a proper check-up and get themselves treated.
Aim Of Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020
The main idea of the world mental health day 2020 and week is to encourage people so that they can come forward and talk about their mental health problems without any hesitation.
The mental health week 2020 is celebrated with the objective to educate the people about mental illness and how it can affect one’s life. The mental health week also helps to break the stigma that stops people to ask for help.
History Of The Mental Health Awareness Week
The US Congress established the mental illness awareness week to recognize and encourage efforts done by the advocacy group based in the United States named as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). This organization strives to educate people and spread awareness about mental illness and health problems.
Read Also History Of Mental Illness
The Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020
Mental Health Week 2020 US
Every year the awareness week takes place during the first week of October. This year it will start on Sunday the 4th of October and end on the 10th of October. During the mental health week 2020, different events like educational sessions, music/art events, prayer services, advertising campaigns, movie nights, health fairs, benefit runs, and candlelight vigils take place throughout the region.
These events aim to educate the public about mental illness and to encourage community outreach to treat major bipolar disorders, depressive disorders, and schizophrenia. Such events are sponsored by various mental health organizations and advocates across the United States to bring a positive change in society and to help people seek the necessary treatment they needed to fight mental problems.
Western Australia Mental Health Week 2020
Like other mental illness awareness weeks held across the globe, Western Australia is also celebrating this week to educate people about the common health problems and their treatments. It encourages people to come forward and tell their stories to motivate other mental health patients. The WA (Western Australia) Mental Health Week 2020 will begin on the 10th of October and will continue until the 17th of October.
This year the WA mental health week 2020 is following the theme “Strengthening Our Community – Live, Learn, Work, Play”. It will support various events focusing on encouraging people to look out and support people who are in need, telling people about mental health problems and self-care tips to deal with such situations and breaking the stereotype related to seeking help from doctors and practitioners.
This week is coordinated by the organization for community mental health known as “Western Australian Association for Mental Health” (WAAMH) and supported by the WA community “Mental Health Commission” that helps to establish and maintain alcohol, mental health and other drug systems for people of WA and by a statutory authority of the government of Western Australia named as “Lottery West” that deals with the lottery in WA.
The Mental Health Week 2020 UK
The world mental health week 2020 will start on the 18th of May 2020 and will end on the 24th of May in the United Kingdom. The week is proudly hosted by a charity organization based in the United Kingdom known as the Mental Health Foundation. The organization strives to help people thrive by protecting, understanding and sustaining mental health. This year the week is based on the theme “KINDNESS”.
The theme is selected based on the idea that the whole of humanity is connected with kindness. We can help the patients suffering from mental problems to break the stigma, come out of their shells, and fight the disease, by treating them with kindness.
The Mental Health Week 2020 Canada
The mental illness awareness week 2020 in Canada will be held in May. This campaign will help the people of Canada to know more about mental illness and to understand reality. This week was first established by the Canadian Psychiatric Association in the year 1992.
It is proudly coordinated by a Canadian non-profit organization known as CAMIMH (Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health) comprising of such organizations and health care providers that represent those individuals who have lived the experiences of mental health problems. All the member organizations are also supporting and coordinating this week along with other potential supporters across Canada.
Different Mental Health Week Activities For Schools
The best way to bring awareness in a society is by teaching students about the problem and its possible solutions. By doing this you can make a strong image in their minds and hence bring a positive change in society. There are various kinds of activities that can be followed in schools related to mental health week as elaborated below.
- Events for PEDAW – The schools must arrange different events to raise Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness among students. This will help the prevention and early detection of eating disorders at schools and colleges by spreading awareness about the problem.
- Stress kits – You can distribute stress kits among students during the exam days just to tell them that they are not alone in this situation, to stay positive and that you are there for them even during the hard days. These kits may contain some juice boxes or granola bars etc.
- Monday morning connection – The idea is to develop a strong interaction between students and teachers on coming back to schools after weekends. This will enable the students to tell their teachers if they are facing any problems related to studies and class environment etc.
- Gratitude displays – To teach students to be grateful for what they have you can design a gratitude display board on which students can write the things or any one thing they are thankful for. To make it more fun you can make different cutouts to write messages or select a theme for those cutouts.
- Positive notes – You can write a positive message and quotes on day to day basis in your classroom’s whiteboard. Another way is to place sticky notes on bathroom mirrors to spread positivity and to get rid of negative thoughts.
- Create a wall of kindness – A similar strategy is to create a wall of kindness on which students can write kind, loving, and caring messages that can help those students and teachers who are having a hard time. A kind message can go a long way in showing support and developing someone’s self-esteem.
What Can We Do As A Society?
We need to bring a positive change in society to fight the stigma related to mental illness and health problems. This can help save someone’s life and encourage him to fight the disease by seeking help from doctors.
This would be done if we start showing respect to other individuals who are suffering from mental illness and accepting them for who they are rather then looking down at them due to their illness. A few words of support and kindness can help them to drag themselves out of depression and anxiety disorders.
Do not think of them as different individuals. Treat them with equality and make sure you provide them the same rights and opportunities that you provide other normal and healthy members of your school, workplace, and community.
Always try to spread awareness about such mental health diseases and disorders so that more people can learn about the problems and how to deal with the children, adults, and elderly people around them who are affected by mental illness. You can do this arranging an event or by being part of one held during the mental illness awareness week.
1. What are the common mental problems faced by people around the world?
The most common of all the health problems that have affected more number of people around the globe as compared to other mental problems include Obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress, and panic disorder.
2. What is the best treatment for mental health problems?
A therapeutic treatment known as Psychotherapy is done by trained professionals who tend to treat people by exploring their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts paired with some medication. It is considered to be the best treatment of mental illness.
3. Can mental illness be cured successfully?
Mental illness cannot be fully cured but proper treatment and medications can minimize the symptoms to a much greater extent so that the person won’t have any problem in thinking, making decisions, do the normal day-to-day tasks and live a peaceful life.
4. Can you treat mental illness without medication?
As explained above that the best way is to have proper treatment with medication. But if your condition is not that severe then there are a couple of ways that you can opt to treat only a few mental problems. These include yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, good fitness, and better nutrition.