Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority

Central Michigan District Health Department would like to recognize World Mental Health Day on Oct.10.

Mental health awareness continues to hold an important role in the overall health and well-being of our world. The efforts at increasing awareness and decreasing stigma regarding mental illness and behavioral health issues are helping, but we have more work to do.

The World Health Organization weighs in about worldwide mental health, stating the following:

• While the pandemic has taken, and continues to take, its toll on our mental health, the ability to reconnect through World Mental Health Day 2022 will provide us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health.

• The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, resulting in a more than 25% increase in both anxiety and depressive disorders compared to the first year of the pandemic. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted, and the treatment gap for
mental health conditions has widened.

• A staggering 84 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced during 2021. We must deepen the value and commitment we give to mental health as individuals, communities, and governments and match that value with more commitment, engagement, and investment by all stakeholders, across all sectors.

• Stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to the right care; it is important that we all play our part in increasing awareness about which preventive mental health interventions work, and World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to do that collectively. We envision a world in which mental health is valued, promoted, and protected; where everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health and to exercise their human rights; and where everyone can access the mental health care they need.

You can do your part in helping to raise awareness by being open with others about your own mental health and how you are feeling. Talk about emotions and struggles. Normalize the negative emotions that come through life stresses by acknowledging them and working through them, even seeking the help of a professional if needed. Be a listening ear for someone who is struggling in their own life.

Another important facet of helping increase mental health awareness and overall health in our communities is to be aware of the resources available for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Do not be afraid to point people in the right direction for local resources, even helping them make the call if necessary. The newest resource is 988. Individuals can dial 988 for suicide prevention and mental health crises. In addition to the 988 number, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or you can text HOME to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor.

Central Michigan District Health Department serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit its website at cmdhd.org and follow CMDHD on Facebook.