May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a month to fight stigma, provide support, educate and advocate.
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Month, Noggin Notes will be bringing you weekly blogs throughout May so that you can help fight stigma, provide support, educate and advocate for those who may not be able to speak up for themselves.
To kick start the #GetLoud campaign, we’re going to start with the basics…
What is mental health?
The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
- Mental health is a key component of health; Health is a state of physical, metal and social well-being and not just the absence of disease.
- A range of biological, environmental and socioeconomic factors determine mental health.
- Mental health includes our psychological, emotional and social well-being.
Mental health disorders exist in broad categories: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders and impulse control disorders. Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors may be an early warning sign of mental illness. This is, by no means, a complete list of symptoms, nor do you, or someone that you know, necessarily have a mental health disorder if you recongnise some of these symptoms.
- Weight loss/gain
- Lack of interest in socialising
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Extreme unexplained changes in mood
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters (lack of empathy)
- Experiencing unexplained aches and pains
- Chronic anxiety
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Loss of libido
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Inability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
Remember, we all feel down from time to time, but if you, or somebody that you know is concerned about experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and have been over a long period of time, then please seek support from your local GP.