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World Mental Health Day

October 3rd 2020| Michael Mountford

World Mental Health Day

What is Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is observed every October 10th and is to raise awareness of mental health issues all around the world.

Mental Health is one of the single most neglected areas of public health. Close to 1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, and yet, very few people around the world have access to quality mental health services; in fact, more than 75% of people who have a mental, neurological and substance use disorder receive no treatment for their condition at all.” – World Health Organisation

Mental Health and COVID 19

This years Mental Health Day comes to us during a time where our day to day lives have changed so dramatically because of the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic.

Those who work within the health-care system, going home fearful of bringing COVID 19 home with them. For students, having to stay indoors throughout the entire summer and winter months, some having to adapt to having online only classes, reduced contact with friends and teachers and the uncertainty of what their future will hold. Workers who have had their entire livelihoods put on hold whilst their place of work goes into an unknown territory with regards to the future of their company.

5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Being able to take care of your mind as well as your body should be of upmost importance.

Connect With others

Reaching out to friends, family members and co-workers is one of the first steps in helping improve your mental health. Having those people who you feel close and connected to can help provide a sense of belonging, gives you the opportunity to share positive experiences and provides you with emotional support as well as allowing you to support others.

Stay physically active

Making sure that no matter the situation, you are staying physically active. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the gym but rather, find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your life. It has been found that the chemical which releases during exercise can help with raising self esteem and helps to positively boost mood.

Staying mindful

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present“. In todays world we find ourselves always looking to the next day and the next and the next. This constant feeling of always having to worry about tomorrow is something that plagues everyone.

Being mindful is simply the act of staying in the present, appreciating what today has given you-and how to make the most of it, being aware of your thoughts and feelings. This awareness allows you to enjoy life so much more and will ultimately help you better understand yourself.

A great exercise to help combat this is: when you notice your mind beginning to wander from the here and now, take a step back from your environment and begin to focus on your breathing. Count your breaths. Do this for a minute and you will find that you are more focused and calm.

Learn a new skill

Learning a new skill has also been found to be a great way to improve your mental health. :Maybe try to cook a new meal by following a YouTube tutorial, take on a new responsibility at your place of work, start a DIY project at home. If you have some free time maybe set yourself a new hobby such as writing a blog, taking part in a new sport or learning a musical instrument. Anything that you feel would help boost your self confidence and raise your self-esteem, it will all benefit your mental state.

Give to others

Acts of kindness have been found to improve your mental wellbeing through creating a positive feeling and a sense of reward, providing you with a sense of purpose as well as providing you with the opportunity to connect with other people. Any act, small or large, is going to go a long way in helping those around you. Simply saying “Thank You” to someone, spending time with your friends and family who might be needing some support, offering your time by truly listening to someone.

Any selfless act that you perform will ultimately begin to have a positive effect on your mental health.

For more on this topic please see the NHS as well as the Mind website

Teaching Mental Health in School

The mental health of children is a rising area of concern and is one which schools are actively trying to combat.

Below is a range of examples of ways in which to effectively teach your class about mental health.

Here is a BBC article which demonstrates how a teacher from a school in south London is teaching her class about mental health through the use of a new scheme which involves teaching through fun games and workbooks.

Talking Mental Health is an animation designed to help begin conversations about mental health in the classroom and beyond and is a great way to start off this topic in the classroom.

Mental Health.org have a very extensive article about the best ways of how to create a classroom and school environment where children can thrive with good mental health– it can be found right here.

Bell Lane Primary School has an exhaustive page on their site all to do with how they apply best key practices with regards to both teaching as well as maintaining the mental health and wellbeing in their pupils and students.

Key Events

United for Global Mental Health: The 24 hour March for Mental Health

On October 9th, people from around the world will be encouraged to participate in a virtual march. A 24-hour livestream which will feature people with lived experience, mental health leaders and influencers from the civil society groups already active in 19 countries through the Speak Your Mind campaign. In addition, global partner organisations that are leading and coordinating work on mental health are organising hour-long sessions on specific themes, including mental health and young people, mental health and older people, and mental health and the LGBTQ+ community.

WHO: The Big Event for Mental Health

On October 10th, the World Health Organisation will host a global online advocacy Event on mental health. At this event WHO will showcase the work that its staff are doing around the world to reduce mental illness and the harmful use of alcohol and drugs. World leaders and mental health experts will join the WHO Director-General to talk about their commitment to mental health and what more must be done. World-renowned musicians who have spoken out about the importance of mental health will talk about their motivation and perform. Sportsmen and women whose lives have been affected by mental ill health will share their experiences and how they have dealt with conditions such as depression and anxiety.

During the Event, a Special Prize for a mental health film, a newly-created category of WHO’s inaugural Health for All Film Festival, will be awarded.

World Federation for Mental Health: Education and Awareness raising

The Federation’s campaign kicks off on 1 September, with the Federation’s President launching the 2020 World Mental Health Day Campaign Educational Material “Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access” under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah of Malaysia. This includes a Call to Action 2020 from Pamela Y. Collins and Deep-a Rao, and will be followed by 45 days of awareness-raising activities led by the Federation’s youth section, including  a global online discussion forum and art exhibition.  

Resources-Teacher’s Pet

Here at Teacher’s Pet we believe that keeping your child healthy both physically as well as mentally is of the upmost importance. Below is a small selection of some of our mental health and wellbeing resources.

To begin, we have our new Flipbook’s for our “Wellbeing Flock” characters. These are a great way to introduce the topic in the classroom and they all have other resources which act to support the Flipbook.

These next two resources act as a very fun and engaging activity for the class to partake in, and are perfect to use alongside our other mental health resources.

We also have two other blogs all about wellbeing; Teacher’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: It’s Not Just A Buzz Word which can be found below.

Helpful Websites

If yourself or anyone that you know is suffering from Mental Health, then we urge you to seek help from a professional organisation as soon as possible. The NHS website has a wealth of resources and links to other professional organisations and charities within Mental Health.

View all posts by: Michael Mountford
Categories: Topic Calendar
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