World Mental Health Day
10th October 2016 — World Mental Health Day.
It’s a very important day for someone like me, who’s suffered with mental health issues for quite a few years now.
It affects a lot of my everyday living; going to work, meeting friends, getting out of bed every morning and remembering to shower, wash the dishes, eat something good.
But I know I’m not alone, and there are many areas of mental health that don’t directly affect me as much as others; the more we know about the different symptoms and cases within mental health, the more we can help each other.
This year’s theme is psychological first aid. This process aims to reduce the impending stress and other symptoms to ensure a healthy recovery following a range of different incidents: natural disasters, bereavement in the family/friendship group, a scary or traumatic event, or any other experience that affects you seriously.
Everyone deals with huge emotional stress from time to time, some more than others, but everyone’s experience is still valid. Common symptoms include anxiety, shock, anger, fear, withdrawal from others, and may even lead to anxiety or panic attacks depending on the person and the situation.
For example, with myself, I have panic attacks or extreme episodes of anxiety if a big problem happens in my world. Although I experience panic attacks often (on average once a month) within a traumatic event it tends to escalate even further and can be much more difficult to control.
Learning how to treat others in these situations is more valuable than you could imagine.
The aim of psychological first aid is to ensure calm, safety, hope and confidence within the situation you’re facing. It aims to understand your stress levels to ensure you can enhance your confidence, providing you with coping mechanisms and of course showing that you are not alone.
Psychological first aid is beneficial at any age, from children to adults, but it’s okay to admit that you need help at any time, and no one should have to go through it alone.
On a final note — let’s work together to raise awareness of mental health issues, with 1 in 6 people in the UK suffering from a mental health problem alone.
I’ve had depression and anxiety for 4 and a half years now, and my battle still continues.