World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2021
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health regardless of background. In Gibraltar, 32% of people report having some form of anxiety and more than 10% note feelings of depression [Gib National Health Survey, 2021]. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also seen significant disruptions to services including those that target mental, neurological and substance use disorders; further affecting a vulnerable group within the community. The Campaign slogan for World Mental Health Day 2021 is: ‘Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality’
Regardless of what our work schedule or personal situation might be, creating opportunities to slow down and rest is important, not only for our physical health, but for our mental health and wellbeing too. Without prioritising ourselves and finding time for our own mental health, it is easy to experience ‘burn-out’. Signs of this may include persistent feelings of exhaustion, mental distancing from people or tasks, and increased cynicism. Mental fatigue can also cause forgetfulness, especially when we are nearing burnout.
Rest offers us a chance to step off the revolving wheel, to breathe and reorientate before stepping back on, refreshed. In fact, the reality is that our brain is never inactive, even whilst resting. However, studies show that, when we rest, our brains go into Default Mode Network (DMN) – we move away from concentrating on the outside world, and towards inward-focused thinking and feeling. As a result, our brains will subconsciously begin to problem solve; finding links and organising the information we have been taking in throughout the day.
For more tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing see: Mental Health
The World Health Organisation have many campaign resources that explore depression and suicide that are benificial to read though (and share); read more HERE.