Happy World Mental Health Day from everyone at Oak Learners! Today is a day of raising awareness and educating the young minds of this globe about mental health issues and maintaining mental health.
Globally, there are 450 million people who suffer from mental health issues. Those with mental health conditions are at a higher risk of dying prematurely and suicide is the leading cause of death among teens and young adults aged 15 – 29 years old. Meanwhile, depression is the world’s leading cause of disability affecting 1 in 8 Canadians, with women being twice as likely as men to have a depressive episode. (WHO)
This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is “Mental Health in an Unequal World”. The pandemic has been difficult for so many students, parents, and teachers alike. However, those with long-term health conditions, facing discrimination, or parenting alone need the most support. Addressing workplace stress, helping adolescents cope with stress in school, and supporting parents at home are of the highest priority at Oak Learners. The stigma associated with ill mental health creates a barrier that prevents those who need help from accessing care and treatment. We work together to raise awareness and create a safe space at our school, a place where everyone’s voice matters.
What Can We Do To Improve Mental Health?
When you’re stuck in a loop of negative thoughts and energy, it can feel almost impossible to get out of it. But there are many things you can do to improve your mental health, including taking even the smallest steps to think more positively. No one can be positive all the time but here is a list of resources that can prove useful in helping to look after your own mental health!
1. Stay Connected With Others
Reach out to the ones that you trust, whether that may be your loved ones, close friends, or even talking to a therapist. Being open about your thoughts and emotions is a great first step to escaping any isolation and enclosed thoughts you may be having. Seeking professional opinions and thoughts into your life can also shine a new perspective on your situation. Not bottling up your emotions and keeping them to yourself can relieve some stress off your shoulders instantaneously.
2. Find Fun Activities To Partake In
Keeping your body and mind active can be a great method of alleviating stress. Activities such as working out, taking daily walks, riding a bicycle, and generally leading a healthy active life can release endorphins that can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Not only does this improve your mental health, but it also helps to keep your body happy and healthy!
3. Try Mindfulness Activities
If you’ve never tried mindfulness before, there are some great videos and apps to check out such as Headspace. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that, in a simple form, trains your attention to achieve calm concentration. Research has shown that mindfulness increases positive thoughts while decreasing anxiety and negative thoughts.
4. Self-Care Improvement Is Key
Negative mental health scenarios can be triggered in a variety of different ways. Despite there being an abundance of things that can drag us down, we must remember to take some time to care for ourselves. Finding something that destresses you can be so helpful, whether it be reading, walking, cooking, cleaning, or just taking some time to do nothing; doing something (or nothing) you enjoy can improve your daily mental health!
Today is an opportunity to talk about mental health with your children and those around you, to break the stigma, and to point out the importance of reaching out for help when struggling with a mental health issue. If you or someone you know is reaching out for support, please call the Toronto Distress Centre at 416-408-4357 or 408-HELP. Talking to someone can save a life.
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