Today is World Mental Health Day (WMHD). While we may not share the same language or the same food, or share in the same customs, around the globe we share the same theme today, Mental Health. Mental Health can be one of our greatest assets or one of the hardest obstacles to how we navigate through this thing we all call life. Using that knowledge, The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) created WMHD 75 years ago and the World Health Organization (WHO) is suggesting the theme for this year to be “our minds, our rights.” Their website (www.who.itt) says, “WMHD is an opportunity for people and communities to unite behind the theme ‘Mental health is a universal human right.”
According to the WHO: One in five American adults have a mental health condition, one in six young people have experienced a major depressive episode, and one in 20 Americans have lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Additionally, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 and accounted for the loss of more than 45,979 American lives in 2020. Those are just the numbers we have from 2020, in the U.S.
The WHO suggests that to have a healthy mental well-being, it’s “more than the absence of mental disorders,” it’s a “state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.” It doesn’t say that to have great mental health you won’t have stress, it says, you will be able to “cope,” with stress, and to be able to make the decisions needed and take the steps to work through your challenges, engage with others, build relationships, grow, and give in a community too. This will vary from person to person and can vary from each circumstance too.
What makes the difference is how we can recognize the distress, because the fact is there is no way to prevent mental health issues. This may start with some by leaning on someone you trust, reaching out to a physician, or therapist, online therapy options, or even joining a support group. You can also do this even if you feel mentally well! However, if you are having thoughts
of self-harm, suicide or very helpless and alone, call or text 988 now. This the new hotline/text line that is 24-hour care for crisis. There is someone right there on the other end of the line ready to help you!
North Country Hospital continues working towards increasing access to mental health resources. In the North Country Primary Care practices there are mental health practitioners, social workers, and a variety of resources you can find right in your regular doctor’s office, all you have to do is ask. The hospital has also been investing in its own Wellness Center for almost 42 years which offers a safe space for people to access a variety of resources for self-care, community building, and connection. When you come to The Wellness Center, you are never alone, always welcome and you always belong, creating a strong foundation for mental well-being.
Mental health is a hard topic. One in five people are struggling with it right now in our country and even more around the world. However, too many are staying silent – silence doesn’t bring change, silence brings complacency. We deserve to have the support of mental health needs in our communities, our states, our countries, and our globe. You deserve every opportunity and support you need for a healthy mind, that’s your right! Let’s join the rest of the world in the fight to make this true for everyone! “Your mind, your rights!”
Director of The Wellness Center