World Mental Health Day 2022
October the 10th is World Mental Health Day
This year the theme is make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. It’s important to ask questions around why, as a society, we don’t prioritise mental health in the same way we might physical health. How do we get to a place where if someone asks how we’re feeling, we can mention we’re struggling with sadness or anxiety in the same way we might mention a headache? How do we move toward a health system where we can all get sensitive, appropriate mental healthcare quickly and easily?
People with mental illnesses and those working in mental healthcare aren't asking for change; they're shouting for it. We must tell policymakers that prioritising mental health requires adequate funding and learning from community mental health services that pioneer mental health support which help people to build fulfilling lives, instead of just treating symptoms.
Read an interview with our Bristol North Networker, Siobhan Buck!
Siobhan is CASS's networker in North Bristol, based at the Greenaway Center. For World Mental Health Day we asked her for her views on why we don't prioritise mental health. If you'd like to find out more about Siobhan's work, contact her at email@example.com
Why do you think looking after our mental health isn’t always high up on our list of priorities?
For me personally it’s because I am usually looking after other people! It can be easy to lose sight of our own mental wellbeing when there is so much else happening in our lives it becomes very low on the list of things that are important.
What one piece of advice would you give to international leaders on how to properly prioritise mental health?
To teach the basics of mental health at a young age – give children the tools and means to acknowledge mental health as something that affects everyone, it’s totally normal to have ‘big feelings’, and it’s ok to express them safely and seek support if they need to. If we can start these conversations when people are young they will grow up with a much better understanding of how important it is to look after their own wellbeing, and reduce much of the stigma that still exists around mental health in some older generations.
How do you try and prioritise your mental health?
Unfortunately I’m not great at this, but I am getting better! I find listening to music/going to gigs quite therapeutic. Generally if I can feel that I need some ‘me’ time I’ll try and plan something nice to do, and if I’m feeling overwhelmed it helps if I remind myself it’s ok to take a break!