World Mental Health Day 2023: Raising Awareness and Promoting Well-Being  

Raising Awareness and Promoting Well-Being

Mental health conditions are more common than we might think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about one in four people worldwide will face a mental health challenge at some point in their lives.¹ Still, many individuals hesitate to seek help or discuss their struggles due to fear of judgment or discrimination. 

World Mental Health Day aims to reduce this stigma and encourage open conversations about mental health. Let’s take a closer look at what the day is all about and ways you can be supportive. 

When Is World Mental Health Day? 

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th each year. According to WHO, this year’s celebration theme is “Mental Health Is a Universal Human Right.” 

This day serves as a global day for raising awareness about mental health issues, promoting mental well-being, and advocating for support and understanding for those with mental health challenges. 

Why Is Mental Health Awareness so Important? 

Aside from the individual’s quality of life, mental health issues affect their families, communities, and even society. Lost productivity, absenteeism, and healthcare costs related to mental health conditions cost the global economy up to $2.5 trillion annually.¹ 

Mental health awareness is vital in reducing stigma, encouraging early intervention, improving access to treatment, and contributing to an individual’s overall well-being. Fostering understanding and support for mental health is a shared responsibility that requires open communication, self-care practices, and strong support systems. 

Related article: Mental Health Awareness Month 2023: 10 Ways to Advocate for Mental Health in the Workplace 

Work Environment Can Significantly Affect a Person’s Mental Health 

Risks to mental health at work can arise from various sources and factors, potentially leading to mental health issues if not properly managed. Some common causes of mental health at work include: 

  • Heavy workloads 
  • Tight deadlines 
  • Lack of autonomy 
  • Workplace discrimination 
  • Job insecurity 
  • Long working hours 
  • High-pressure environments 
  • Unclear job expectations 
  • Lack of work-life balance 
  • Unfavorable organizational culture 
  • Job dissatisfaction 

Employers and Leaders Have a Role to Play 

Leaders have the capacity and influence to set the tone in any organization. Start by encouraging open conversations about mental health and emphasizing that it is okay to seek help. Leaders and managers should set an example by sharing their own experiences or showing empathy towards those who do. Here are a few more things you can do: 

  • Educate team members about various mental health conditions and the best ways to provide support. 
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks. 
  • Encourage breaks and vacations, and discourage excessive overtime. 
  • Ensure that workloads are manageable and deadlines are realistic. 

How to Practice Support for People Going Through Mental Health Challenges 

Supporting someone who is going through mental health challenges requires understanding, empathy, and patience. Here are some ways you can achieve that: 

1. Educate Yourself by Listening 

One of the first steps in supporting someone with mental health challenges is to educate yourself about mental health conditions. Learn about the symptoms, treatments, and available resources. Understanding the nature of their struggle will help you offer more informed and compassionate support.  

If they want to share, let the person express their feelings and thoughts without interruption or judgment. Sometimes, all someone needs is to be heard. Ask open-ended questions and provide verbal and non-verbal cues that you are paying attention and empathetic. 

2. Empathize and Show Respect Other People’s Feelings 

Empathy is about understanding and sharing someone’s feelings.  

Avoid saying things like, “I know how you feel,” unless you have experienced something similar. Instead, say, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.” 

Try not to invalidate people’s emotions by telling them to “snap out of it” or “get over it.” Mental health challenges are real and can’t be simply thrown away. Respect other people’s feelings and acknowledge the legitimacy of their struggle.  

3. Offer Practical and Professional Help  

Depending on the situation, you may offer practical assistance and provide it if the person agrees. This could include helping someone find a nanny for the weekend, accompanying them to doctor’s appointments, or assisting with daily office tasks they may be struggling with due to their condition. 

If you believe the person’s mental health challenges are severe or endangering their well-being, maybe it’s time to encourage them to seek professional help. Offer to help them find a therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor and support them. 

4. Offer Encouragement But Respect People’s Privacies 

Provide positive reinforcement when they make progress, no matter how small. Celebrate their achievements and let them know you are proud of them for seeking help or taking steps toward recovery. 

However, there are times when some people may want silence and alone time. Respect their privacy and boundaries. Some people may not even want to disclose the details of their condition or treatment. Always ask if they want to share their circumstances and ask permission before discussing their mental health with others. 

5. Offer Consistent Support 

Mental health challenges are often ongoing. Offer consistent support even when things seem to improve. According to the American Psychological Association, it takes 15 to 20 sessions on average for 50 percent of people with mental health illnesses to recover. Others prefer up to 30 sessions.²  

Recovery from mental health challenges is not always linear. There will be ups and downs. Be patient and understanding, and offer support whenever you can. You can check on them regularly. A simple text or a short call can remind them that you care and are there for them. 

Self-Care Goes a Long Way 

While it’s vital to surround yourself with reliable support systems, taking care of yourself will always be the most effective way to battle mental health illnesses. As you go about your day, here are a few things you can incorporate into your routine to practice self-care more effectively.  

1. Exercise Regularly 

Physical activity is not only beneficial for your body but also for your mind. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can help manage stress and anxiety. 

2. Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation 

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, can help you stay grounded and reduce the impact of stressors. These techniques promote relaxation and a sense of inner peace. 

3. Eating a Balanced Diet 

A healthy, nutrient-rich diet can positively impact your mood and energy levels. Nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can contribute to better mental health. 

4. Sleeping Adequately 

Sleep is essential for mental and emotional well-being. Ensure to get enough rest each night, aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help improve sleep patterns. 

5. Building Social Connections 

Strong social connections are vital for mental health because they provide a support system when you’re going through challenging periods. Spend time with friends and loved ones, and don’t hesitate to reach out when you need support. 

BUILD INCLUSIVE TEAMS WITH THE HELP OF GALT FOUNDATION 

Galt Foundation is a leading global provider of temporary staffing solutions specifically tailored for individuals with disabilities. With an extensive track record spanning more than 20 years, we excel in offering customized staffing solutions to support your business needs. 

Feel free to contact us today to learn more about how we can help. 

References 

1. “MHPSS worldwide: facts and figures.” Government of Netherlands, 21 Oct. 2019, www.government.nl/mhpss-worldwide-facts-and-figures. 

2. “How Long Will It Take for Treatment to Work?” American Psychological Association, 2017, www.apa.org/patients-and-families/length-treatment. 

More Stories

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.