Today marks World Mental Health Day, an occasion that should serve as a daily reminder rather than a one-time event. The problem with these “special days” lies in their singularity; they should not be deemed special but rather an integral part of our lives. As someone who experiences mental health differences, I can understand this perspective firsthand. I prefer the term “differences” as opposed to “illness” or “problems” since mental health divergence does not equate to being sick or ill. It merely implies a variation from the norm, and it should not be perceived as problematic unless one chooses to make it so.
Ironically, the true challenges regarding mental health stem primarily from the outside world. Whether it’s depression or Down syndrome, the root of the problem lies in the lack of awareness exhibited by others. Consequently, the notion of having a designated day to raise awareness seemed necessary. However, a single day or moment is insufficient; awareness should permeate our daily lives, requiring continuous reminders.
The predicament arises from the fact that people may be mindful of mental health today, but as we transition into tomorrow, they tend to forget, thus perpetuating the cycle of problems. If you plan to observe World Mental Health Day, I urge you to focus on personal growth and self-awareness. Take the time to understand the experiences of those who differ from you, rather than solely relying on others to be aware. Ultimately, cultivating awareness should begin with oneself, and it is crucial not to overlook personal involvement when promoting understanding.
Let’s strive for a society where mental health awareness is not limited to a single day but becomes an intrinsic part of our lives. By embracing this philosophy, we can work towards fostering inclusivity and understanding for all.
Old version (Awareness Starts With Being More Aware Yourself)
Today is World Mental Health Day, the day that should happen every day…
That is the real problem when it comes to all those “special days”, the fact it should not be special!
And, yes, it is probably easier for me to say that as I have mental health differences.
Differences, I use that term for a reason, as most people like to rather use the words illness and problems, but it is no illness, as you are not ill, not sick, you are different when there is anything different with your mental health; and neither is it a problem, as things are only a problem when you want it to be a problem.
When it comes to mental health though, it happens to be mostly the others that are the actual problem, the outside world; no matter if we would look at for example depression or down syndrome, the problems start because people are not aware.
So, it was thought to have this special day to create awareness, but this is one day, one moment, while people should be aware every day and should be made aware of it every single day!
The problem is that people will be aware today, but when we move on to tomorrow, people will have forgotten already and are the ones who create the problems yet again…
If you plan to do anything today at World Mental Health Day, let it be becoming more aware yourself, learn for example what people have to go through who are not you, instead of just trying others to be aware of it; as eventually things should not start with others, it should start with yourself, so do not forget to also include yourself when it comes to awareness…