World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10 yearly. It aims to foster and educate the awareness of mental health issues. Yet, we still do not know enough about its causes even though these seemingly trivial matters can develop into a significant health issue. This is why we need to talk more about mental health and start taking care of it.
Our society strives to reach the ideal body. Diets, fitness courses and healthy eating are the essential values of our time. We want to become faster, fitter and more efficient. With a well-toned body and a balanced diet, we feel healthier, appear to achieve all our envisioned goals and live way beyond our expected lifespan. At least that’s what social media and advertising are signalling us. Life on Instagram is all about working hard and always being in motion.
However, only a few think about their mental health. While we train and optimise the visible and stress ourselves, we entirely overlook the interior. But our mind is what defines and drives us. Hence, it is fundamental that we also listen to ourselves and the potential signals of our body and react adequately. As mental health charity Mind states, it sometimes starts with shunning social events or having difficulties in expressing clear thoughts or making decisions. Lack of concentration, sleep disorders, loss of appetite or excitement are also indicators that something might be wrong.
As a consequence, some people tend to isolate themselves, feel hopeless and abandoned. Others feel unable to relate to other people and find no pleasure in life or the things they used to enjoy before. These warning signs are an indication that your mental health may be at risk. This is why we should listen to them. Still, there are numerous signs, and they do certainly differ for everyone. Eventually, even self-destructive behavioural patterns can arise, including suicidal thoughts. At this point, most people tend to take their time.
There is mental health support at King’s
But it is vital to act as quickly as possible to recuperate from that dark and state of hopelessness. The help is out there. We just need to use the resources and spread the word. Thus, we urgently need to talk more about mental health and stop handle it as a taboo topic in our efficiency-driven, seemingly ideal Instagram world.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, please contact advice services. These are available at the King’s Counselling & Mental Health Support Service. Moreover, the Counselling & Mental Health Support Team runs several workshops and groups for students and staff covering a wide range of topics such as Mindfulness, Stress Management and Exam Anxiety. If you feel the need to talk, you can call the Nightline on 020 7631 0101. Nightline is a student-run service available during term-time, between 6 pm and 8 am. But if you feel uncomfortable, you should see your doctor or local NHS Accident and Emergency (A&E) department or call the 24/7 available Samaritans (116 123). In an emergency, you should not hesitate to call 999.
Preventing mental health problems is crucial
To hinder mental health problems, you can act today. A study has proven evidence that consuming more raw fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of depression and other mental illness. Besides, you should pay attention to an active lifestyle. Exercise releases endorphins – the hormone that makes us happy and improves our mood. A night of good sleep is crucial for the mind to function accurately. A regular snooze charges the batteries and ensures that everything goes its course.
But most importantly, you should be careful to listen more to your body. Set limits: Do not always be available for others around the clock and make sure to put yourself and your mental health first. Take action to control stress and pay attention to how you feel. It does not matter how you get across on social media or how others judge you. Much more important is the interior: It’s your mind. No-one knows you better than you do. Thus, be aware of your sentiments and attitudes towards yourself. Your mind matters, so take care of it!