World Mental Health Day is the 10th of October, this year’s topic is Suicide Prevention. It’s time to speak out, to get involved. I’ve compiled a list of practical ideas that you can get involved today, some more practical and some that can allow you to connect with how you are feeling and nurture your own mental health. These can also be used at any time, the conversation should be ongoing.
- Reach out to a family member and ask them how they are really feeling.
- Contact a friend and arrange to meet up or talk about how you are both doing.
- Say something nice to someone in passing, give a compliment.
- Write a list of things that you love about yourself.
- Set aside ten minutes or more to do something that makes you happy.
- Engage in self-care activities.
- Talk about your own story and experiences with those in your life.
- Write a blog post or an article about suicide prevention.
- Make a video telling your story.
- Get involved in the conversation online, use social media; there are some great hashtags on Twitter including #WorldMentalHealthDay, #WorldMentalHealthDay2019 and #40seconds which is a campaign raising awareness of the statistic that every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide.
- Ask someone at work how they feel and if they know about today.
- Educate yourself about a mental illness that you don’t know much about; there are great resources online.
- Read about World Mental Health Day and pass on the information; the World Federation For Mental Health set the topic and have a great page with some information with you can find here
- Download mental health awareness posters and put them up somewhere near to you to spread the word; a great resource can be found here
- Download a resource for the workplace and take it to work with you, share it with colleagues; a great one can be found from Time To Change here or this one
- Read people’s blogs about their own experiences and share them.
- Watch people’s videos raising awareness and share them with loved ones and online.
- Take a look online and see what activities might be happening in the local community you could get involved in.
- If you work in a school or are in education, download resources and take them with you, such as this one or this one
- Write a list of things that you are really good at.
- Prepare a ‘happy box’; a box of things that you can have on hand in preparation for going through a hard time, you can include anything that you feel would be helpful such as crafts, sensory items, a teddy to cuddle, a journal to write in, anything that works for you.
- Go out for a walk with someone you love, connect with nature and do some exercise.
- Ask your employer or teacher to set aside some time to talk about mental health today.
- Arrange to set some time aside to address the topic at hand with your employees or students if you are in such a position.
- Get involved in a fundraising activity or arrange one for the future, there are so many mental health charities all over the world that you can find to raise funds for.
These are just a few ideas and I’d love to hear yours if you want to leave them in the comments to help others who may read this.
Most importantly I want to say that when you live with a mental illness, it is something that is with you constantly and not just on one day a year, but having a day like this allows us all to take part in raising awareness and really starting those conversations; it’s so vital that campaigns like this are valued and that as many of us take part as possible to really start to see the changes that we all know are needed.
If you are in immediate danger, please go to the hospital or call the emergency services.
If you need to talk to someone, I have included a list of hotline numbers below:
National Suicide Prevention line tel:1-800-273-8255
Austria: 142; for children and young people, 147
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05
Brazil: 188 for the CVV National Association
Canada: 1.833.456.4566, 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal)
Estonia: 3726558088; in Russian 3726555688
Finland: 010 195 202
Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000
New Zealand: 0800543354
Portugal: 21 854 07 40/8 . 96 898 21 50
South Africa: 0514445691
United Kingdom: 08457909090
Veterans’ Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255/ text 838255
Sourced from International bipolar foundation’s website https://ibpf.org/resource/list-international-suicide-hotlines
Mind (2013), “Mental Health Awareness Week”, Retrieved October 2019 from https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/mental-health-awareness-week-2019/
Mental Health Foundation, “World Mental Health Day”, Retrieved October 2019 from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day
Time To Change, “World Mental Health Day 2019”, Retrieved October 2019 from https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/get-your-workplace-involved/resources/mental-health-calendar/wmhd
World Health Organization, “Campaign Material Handouts”, Retrieved October 2019 from https://www.who.int/health-topics/suicide/campaign-materials-handouts
World Federation For Mental Health, “World Mental Health Day 2019”, Retrieved October 2019 from https://wfmh.global/world-mental-health-day-2019/