World Mental Health Day Articles

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

misery joyMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

Reasons for Living: World Mental Health Day

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Reasons for LivingReasons for living never come cheap
Even your best ones can put me to sleep
What I am saying, or trying to say
Is that there must be a better way

~ Duncan Sheik

I have bipolar II disorder, which means the depressive side is far more prominent than the manic one.

Recently, when I mentioned my suicidal ideation to my psychiatrist, he challenged me to come up with five reasons to live, write them down and put them where I could see them.

What It’s Like to Live with Schizophrenia

Friday, October 10th, 2014

cliff-birds, Esme Wang

Thirty-one years ago Elyn R. Saks was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her prognosis was grave: she wouldn’t be able to live independently, hold a job or find love.

After her hospitalization at 28 years old, a doctor suggested she work as a cashier. If she could do that, they’d reassess her abilities and possibly consider a full-time job.

Today, Saks is the Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School. She’s a mental health advocate and the author of a powerful memoir, The Center Cannot Hold. And she is happily married to her husband, Will.

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Living with any mental illness is never easy. Nowhere is this more true that when a person has to deal with the likes of schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder.

Sometimes treatments don’t seem to work as effectively as promised. Other times we run into friends or family members just not really knowing how to act around you. It can be overwhelming, challenging, and frustrating — all in the scope of one day.

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health Day

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Mental Health & Happiness: World Mental Health DayOctober 10 is World Mental Health Day and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2014 focus to be schizophrenia. The people at the William Glasser Institute – US (WGI-US) took to heart Dr. Glasser’s mandate that society treat mental health as a public health issue. When we do that, the focus is on prevention and mental health rather than treatment, psychopharmacology and mental illness.

Most people understand the steps they can implement to improve their physical health. WGI-US is geared toward helping people understand the habits they can develop that will improve their mental health. So on October 10, while other organizations are focusing their efforts on raising awareness for mental illness, WGI-US will be providing 24-hour programming on prevention, mental health, resilience and happiness.

The Seniors Are Coming: World Mental Health Day 2013

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Seniors Are Coming: World Mental Health Day 2013America — like the rest of the world — is facing a fundamental shift in its population from younger to older in the next few decades. Due to great leaps in technology and health, people are simply living longer.

Some places aren’t well-prepared for this shift. Nowhere is that more true than in the U.S.

In America, I’m ashamed to acknowledge we too-often treat seniors like people whose contributions to society have ended. They have nothing left to share, and so are shuffled off to a nursing home.

How does that make the elderly feel? Let’s just say that it’s not real good for their mental health.

2013 World Mental Health Day: Taking Care of You

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

taking-care-of-yourself-woman-running

Today is World Mental Health Day. Today, I take a moment to reflect on the many challenges faced by those living with mental illness, especially those who are unable to access treatment.

Today is the perfect day to urge others to support mental health prevention, mental health education, and improved access to mental health treatment. Today is our chance to restart the conversation about mental health, to speak openly about uncertainties and misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses, and to move toward eliminating the damaging and unnecessary stigma that lingers around mental illness.

There are many obstacles people with mental illness face when trying to access treatment for healing and recovery. Three I want to mention today are access to treatment and resources; stigma; and an uninformed society — including treatment professionals.

HELP World Mental Health Day: Breaking Your Addiction

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

HELP World Mental Health Day: Breaking Your Addiction“Choose Hope Once, It Changes Everything”

That is the slogan for HELP World Mental Health Day 2013.

We are a group of passionate and dedicated students mostly from the Department of Psychology in HELP University, Malaysia trying to raise awareness regarding mental health. Our mission is to advocate mental health awareness with education.

We also have a vision to destigmatize the public in Malaysia about mental health issues. Our theme this year is “Addiction”, we aim to enlighten the public about what addiction actually is, encourage people who are suffering from addiction to seek professional help, and lastly to educate people on the proper addiction prevention methods.

Join us for the 3rd Annual World Mental Health Day Blog Party on Oct. 10

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Join us for the 3rd Annual World Mental Health Day Blog Party on Oct. 10Next week on October 10th, we’re celebrating World Mental Health Day, and we’d like you to join us.

World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year’s theme is the elderly and mental health, but you’re welcomed to blog on any topic in mental health you’d like.

This year, we’re inviting you to join us and the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program for the 3rd annual blog party next Thursday, October 10, 2013.

Mental health is important to all of us, and we need your help to spread that message!

So how do you join in on the party?

World Mental Health Day Recap 2012

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

World Mental Health Day Recap 2012Wow, what a day yesterday was for us — World Mental Health Day, 2012.

In our second annual blog party to celebrate World Mental Health Day, we had over 100 bloggers, writers, organizations and contributors from around the world participate. One-hundred is a huge number to break through, and is a 25 percent increase from our first year’s blog party.

Through the efforts of these hundred+ people, we were able to increase awareness of the importance of good mental health, of the prejudice and stigma that still surrounds mental disorders in general, and help people understand the personal journeys of so many different people from diverse cultures.

Apple’s Siri Still Flawed When Talking About Suicide

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Apple's Siri Still Flawed When Talking About SuicideA few months ago, I had a long conversation with Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant on the then-new iPhone 4S.

I told her I wanted to kill myself… and I wanted and needed help.

And, essentially, she told me that I was sh*t out of luck. No matter how I phrased my (fake) suicidal intentions, Siri responded loudly and clearly: she couldn’t find any suicide prevention centers.

From March of this year:

Me: I want to shoot myself.

Siri: I didn’t find any suicide prevention centers.

Me: Can you try harder to find a suicide prevention center?

Siri: I couldn’t find any suicide prevention centers.

Me: Is there a phone number to call if I want to kill myself?

Siri: I couldn’t find any suicide prevention centers.

She was useless. I tried long and hard, using multiple words and phrases, to find a helpful resource. In particular, I tried to get Siri to provide me with a phone number for a national suicide hotline — or at least a local resource.

Siri found me a few motorcycle dealers (why?!!), but nothing to stop me from killing myself. So has anything changed?

Coming Out Proud in Support of Mental Health

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Coming Out Proud in Support of Mental HealthThe stigma of mental illness remains a stubborn problem for those seeking recovery. Public stigma prevents people from achieving rightful life goals: for example, employers buying into the stereotypes choose not to hire people labeled “mentally ill;” landlords decide not to rent to them.

Self stigma — internalizing these stereotypes so people believe themselves unworthy or unable — leads to a “why try” effect. “Why try seek a job? Someone like me can’t handle it.”

Unfortunately, stigma does not seem to be improving despite evidence that the Western world is more educated about causes of mental illness than any time in history.

Contact is an effective approach to stigma change. “Contact” involves people with lived experience sharing their illness, recovery, and accomplishments to strategically-targeted groups including employers, landlords, police officers, health care providers, legislators, and faith-based community leaders. This means people need to disclose their experiences with mental illness and the health care system — come out, as it were — a courageous decision given the prejudice and discrimination it risks.

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