World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day (October 10th) is an international acknowledgement of the variety of mental health issues that are prevalent across the world, and how extensively they can affect our population, productivity, and health. This is a pertinent reminder that mental health is an issue on an international level and that we should think about it as such. Since mental health issues have existed almost as long as humans have existed, there are many different perceptions across different countries and across time that have come about to understand and help  those with mental illness.

Historically, those who were deemed mentally ill, whether it was perceived or real, have been treated poorly in a number of contexts. Due to the interpretation of mental illness, like the idea that mental illness is caused by laziness or personality flaws, many go untreated out of fear or become institutionalized. In the past, institutions designated for the care of mental health care had poor treatment methods. Many abused  their patients by means of electroshock therapy or other means of torture. The reason for stigma is different from country to country, but on an international scale stigmatization for one reason or another is present against those with mental health disorders.

There are many effective ways by which to improve how we address mental health issues across the world. Many countries lack the resources to provide proper mental health issues, whether or not they have an appropriate amount of training, professional psychologists, and resources for treatments. In other countries, the battle is to reduce the stigma against mental health and encourage people who are suffering to seek the help that they need. Each country has its own battle with improving mental health and ensuring that those with mental illnesses have their rights protected.

Another important part of encouraging better mental health treatments is educating the general population about mental health; more recently, there has been a body of research that shows that there is a tie between physical health, diet, and mental health. We must also be sensitive to how other cultures approach mental health when helping provide care to others around the world. Due to cultural factors and outlooks, some might be more willing to take medicine than go to therapy for their mental health issues; while, others may choose therapy over medicine. It is important for all kinds of treatments to be available for individuals, so that they feel as though they can receive the appropriate care catered to their needs.

If you are struggling with your mental health, or you know someone who might be struggling, do not be afraid to reach out. Feel free to contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help! Getting yourself help, whether it is through self-help or by reaching out to professionals is an important part of recognizing that you are struggling; it is also a good step forward in getting the help you need. You can visit Lifelineconnections.org or call 360.397.8246

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