The Mental Health Foundation found that depression affects around 28% of women over the age of 65 in the UK — 85% of whom receive no medical help from the NHS. World Mental Health Day is combating this.
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.
With aims of highlighting and tackling prejudice that festers around mental illness, Forest Health Care helped us create a list of ways you can make a person feel heard, appreciated and worthwhile. These are seemingly tiny acts, but can mean a lot to someone who may be struggling.
Share a compliment on World Mental Health Day
A small compliment can go a long way — even if the compliment is as trivial as, “I love your coat” or, “your hair looks great.” Research by Professor Norihiro Sadato at the Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences says that benefits of complimenting someone are significant enough to be used as “easy and effective strategies to use during rehabilitation.” So if you admire something about someone, say it.
Fearing intimacy and avoiding closeness is the norm for about 17% of adults in Western cultures. WMHD is about tackling this kind of preconceived mind set and reaching out to one another in support. The intimacy of letter writing, though silent, is a tangible piece of motivation that a person can go back to when in need of support.
Smiling for someone else is smiling for yourself, too. This wordless connection surges endorphins and serotonin through your body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Endorphins are 100% naturally produced by your body, so bypass negative effects of medication. If you make this warm-hearted exchange with a person, you’ll be amazed at how quickly positivity is passed on.
Crack a joke on World Mental Health Day
Laughing truly is the best medicine. Sometimes people just need to laugh. You can make a real difference to someone’s day if you inject humour to the conversation. You might even create new friendships at work — just because you’re not in the same team doesn’t mean you can’t talk!
Pay for the person after you
This is the kind of gesture that will stay in people’s minds forever. Next time you’re in the queue, tell the cashier to pay for the person behind you — this will not only make the lucky stranger happy, but also the cashier as they get to deliver the great news. It doesn’t have to be an expensive offer, but it will definitely be rewarding.
The focus of World Mental Health Day 2019 is on suicide prevention. Every year close to 800,000 people globally take their own life and it is impossible to tell how many more are attempting it. If you know of someone who might need some help, see details below for help.
Available 24 hours a day for confidential support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.
- 116 123 (free to call from within the UK and Ireland), 24 hours a day
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mind offers advice, support and information to people experiencing a mental health difficulty and their family and friends. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.
SANE services provide practical help, emotional support and specialist information to individuals affected by mental health problems, their family, friends and carers.
- Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk
- Saneline: 0300 304 7000 (local rate on BT landlines) Open 4:30-10:30pm every day
4. NHS mental health services
See our “living joyfully” guide for more tips on how to live every day as happily as you can.
Peruse the Platinum Health section to see how to maintain a positive lifestyle as your body changes.