Humanity Auxilium reflects on World Mental Health Day 2020
Today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. It is an important day to reflect on the importance of our mental health and how we can do better for our own mental health and advocate for the mental well-being of others, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic — as so many people have been negatively affected by the events of this year.
“The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye,” says the World Health Organization (WHO).
Talking about mental health
During a year where there has been so much uncertainty, it is important to remember the importance of talking about mental health and seeking help if needed.
Humanity Auxilium founder, Dr. Fozia Alvi, a family physician residing in Calgary, Alberta says mental health used to be a “taboo subject in society and for many people still is — something not to be spoken about or shared.
“Not anymore,” she says, adding it is becoming more accepted for people to share their experiences with mental health.
“The importance of talking about mental health cannot be emphasized enough. For one, mental health has a profound effect on the rest of your body and its physical health. And poor physical health can also negatively impact your mental health,” says Alvi.
Alvi says mental health affects us all and is closely tied to our physical health.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood,” says Alvi.
At Humanity Auxilium, we work hard to improve the lives of others the best we can, which includes providing resources for both physical and mental health. On World Mental Health Day, we will think further about how we can use our time and resources to further incorporate mental health into our current and upcoming projects.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please seek help. There are many resources available in Canada here.