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World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th of October every year to raise awareness about mental health and increase efforts to support mental health. The theme for this year is 'mental health in an unequal world'.

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What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes emotional, psychological and social well being. It affects how one thinks, feels and acts. It also relates to how we handle and cope with stress, connect with others and make choices.


It doesn't discriminate based on race, age, sexual orientation, geography, social status - it does affect anyone. It is said that fifty per cent of mental illnesses start by the age of 14 and three quarters begin at the age of 24.

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Many factors contribute to your mental health; biological factors like genes and brain chemistry, life experiences like trauma or abuse and family history of mental illnesses. 


Warning signs of mental illness

Mental illness is a significant change in behaviours, emotions and/ thinking. Many people are reluctant to seek help because of the stigma that comes with it; however, It is nothing to be ashamed of; it's a medical condition like any other. More like breaking a leg, and you have to visit a doctor to help with it.

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Here are some warning signs:

  • Excessive paranoia, worry or anxiety.
  • Long-lasting sadness and irritability.
  • Extreme changes in moods.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

Our mental health has been affected during the pandemic in one way or another, and we need to be more vigilant on how we feel and react to things. Taking breaks from time to time is also a plus to our well being. Be kind to yourself.

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Some ways to improve your mental health:

  • Talk about your feelings. This is not a sign of weakness. It might feel awkward and hard to start it off but keep going. It's a part of taking charge of your wellbeing. 
  • Keep active. Regular exercise is excellent for our well being. It keeps our bodies healthy, including our brain.
  • Eat well. Watch what you eat. Your brain needs different nutrients to function well. A balanced diet is vital for your physical and mental health.
  • Drink sensibly. Drinking doesn't address your problems. It only postpones them, and what happens when it wears off?
  • Keep in touch. We all need a sense of belonging, and we need to make an effort to check on others either in person or via calls. It helps with our mental health.
  • Ask for help. When you can't cope or are overwhelmed, always ask for help from friends and family members or seek professional help.

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There are so many treatments for mental health. People with mental illness can recover and live a long and healthy life. Lastly, It's okay to ask and seek help.


Let's all commit to supporting those with poor mental health and end the stigma that comes with mental health - whether it is a friend, a colleague, a neighbor or a family member. We need each other. 

Photo: Anna Shvets from Pexels

Until next time, stay healthy!

October 09, 2021 2 min read


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