Today marks the day of World Health Day, celebrated on the 7th of April every year this day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation. Every year a different topic is chosen to represent a particular priority of health care and this year they've chosen the theme #DepressionLetsTalk.
First of all what's mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It alters the way we feel, think or act or how we handle certain feelings such as stress and sadness. Anyone can be affected by a mental illness from any age, gender and race, it is one of the main causes of overall disease burden across the world with depression reported to be one of the predominant drivers for poor mental health. It's noted that one in four people battle with poor mental health however this statistic has been gathered from reported cases of mental illness, we must take into account individuals who don't seek medical treatment, so this number may be higher than we expected!
"Depression : A mental condition characterised by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep."
For more information on depression see here
So why is it important to talk about Depression?
1 Talking to those battling depression
Talking is a key to your first steps of recovery. There are a number of talking therapies that help you learn how to work through negative feelings and thoughts to help alter your way of thinking to make a positive impact on your life. That's not to say you can't help....by lending an ear, replying to that text or just giving a few words of encouragement you can help to alleviate some of the pressures Depression has on an individual.
2 Raising awareness of Depression and Mental Health in general
The stigma attached to depression is just as much of a problem as experiencing the illness itself. 9 out of 10 people experiencing mental illness say the discrimination they experience actually make it worse for them and much harder to recover. It can affect relationships, employment and even things such as housing. A mental illness is that, an illness, just because you can't see it that doesn't mean it's not there. By joining campaigns such as #DepressionLetsTalk you're helping to increase conversations and awareness surrounding mental illness and we can only hope, that in time, it will eradicate the stigma attached to it!
With funding for mental health falling, over health and well-being decreasing and general worries for the future it is no wonder organisations such as the World Health organisation want to focus on making an impact by putting their foot forward in the right direction for change in mental health care and attitude. Do your part today and contribute to the campaign, raise conversations, talk to a friend battling with Depression or upload your story! Together we can help organisations such as this make a different, banish the stigma and support communities across the world.
See Pete our Feeling Funny participant's story on how comedy helped him battle his depression or watch a video of the lovely Ged talking about his battle with mental illness
Hear staff / volunteer entries on their own experiences of mental illness in our Time To Talk campaign: Helen Holden | Charlene Davies | Cash Boyle