Mental Health Awareness
October is South African Mental Health Awareness Month. An initiative pioneered to de-stigmatise mental illness and promote treatments such as counselling, self care and medical diagnosis. The message of the campaign is simple: there is no shame in seeking help for mental illness. Anyone who suspects that they are suffering from a mental illness is encouraged to reach out. It can be to friends, family, a medical doctor or a local counselor for guidance.
The goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to educate the public about mental health, teaching people about the stressors which can lead to mental illness. One key focus is mental health awareness in the workplace. Examining the balance between workplace pressure and lack of incentive, government organisations are working towards placing more mental health wellness programmes in corporate and government offices, ensuring that mental health problems can be detected as early as possible and treated immediately, to prevent illnesses such as clinical depression, acute stress disorder and anxiety.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is “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,” according to the South African Federation for Mental Health.
This organisation focuses on promoting mental health for all South Africans. They also promote and protect the rights of individuals with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. This Mental Health Awareness Month, the SAFMH are championing conversations around social media usage and suicide.
On World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2019, the SAFMH invite students, teachers and parents to an open dialogue on the topic of suicide and social media at WITS University. An engaging conversation about the links between social media usage and increased suicide rates, this is an excellent opportunity to debate and contribute to mental health awareness. There will be a number of interactive activities for all to enjoy, as well as helpful information packs for all attendees.
When Is It?
Thursday, 10 October 2019 at 12:00 – 14:00.
Where Is It?
WITS University, Library Lawns, 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
For More Information
Self Care Practices
Self care is one of the most important good mental health practices, feeding your mind, soul and body with exactly what they need to keep you running in tip-top condition. Self care can be as simple as taking a long soak in the bathtub, or more complex like finding a new hobby. However, the first goal of your self care routine should be to prioritise yourself for a set period of time. This may mean shutting out external distractions like social media, emails and work-related stressors. It can also mean spending time alone away from family and friends. Whichever way you choose to practice self care this Mental Health Awareness Month, remember you cannot help others without helping yourself first.
Did you know that Mental Health Awareness Month coincides with Inktober? A global initiative started in 2009 by Jake Parker, Inktober encourages artists and amateur doodlers to pick up their pens and get inking. With 31 prompts, Inktober inspires you to create something new each day. You can complete them all or do as many as you like. The only rules are that you must draw in ink and you must post your drawings on social media with the hashtag #inktober2019.
Why not express yourself in a creative way this Mental Health Awareness Month by joining in on Inktober? It’s all about having a positive mindset, so go on and spoil yourself with a new ink pen and some absorbent blot paper. Self care sorted!
Click here for more information about how participate in Inktober.
Do you have any helpful self care tips to share this Mental Health Awareness Month? Let us know about them!