It is quite unfortunate that the World Mental Health Day observed on the 10th of October every year has come at a time when the world is confronted by the unprecedented mental health consequences and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on billions of people.
This allows us to self-reflect on our mental health and well-being especially during this time that the need for psychological support is expected to increase in the coming months and years.
The theme for this year's World Health Mental Day campaign being increased investment in mental health, we should ask ourselves, why invest, and why now? Mental well-being is as important as physical health and is essential for our overall productivity.
Currently, more than ever, mental health awareness is needed to ensure everyone has access to mental care. The pandemic hit us hard when we least expected, this has interfered drastically with our natural social interactions. The negative effects of enforced quarantines and repeated lockdowns have made 2020 a difficult year for mental.
The question is, what are you doing to ensure this does not affect your mental well-being? You need good mental health for you to achieve your goals. Invest in it for you to thrive. Try and get professional help if you need it, connect with others, stay positive, get physically active, help others, get enough sleep, and develop coping skills.
Just as physically healthy people can bounce back from adversity, traumas, and stress, people affected mentally can bounce back too. Resilience is all it takes. People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook.
All of us have been affected. However, we have to remain focused, flexible, and productive, in bad times as well as good. Resilience will make us less afraid of new experiences or an uncertain future. Everything has destabilized; large scale socio-economic fallout has been witnessed this year more than any other year. The overwhelming impact of COVID-19 has revealed a lot more causing further mental distress and vulnerability. We can only be hopeful and remain resilient in such times.
Taking care of our mental health aids in recovery from anything that happens. When we feel better, we do better. We must value our mental health and wellness as much as we value anything. Let us learn that we are good enough regardless of any situation we might be in. we do not have to wait to feel better, we can feel better today by simply acknowledging our struggles as real and worthy of recognition.
This pandemic is an eye-opener for us that we need to invest in mental health resources. It is everyone’s responsibility. Investment has always been low despite growth in mental health awareness. Great movement and action need to be seen within countries to increase access to mental health for all.