What would happen if all Social Inclusion teams in Croatia united? Well let us show you. Starting from this October, every month is #SocialInclusion month! All Social Inclusion teams across Croatia will stand together each month with a different, relevant theme, in hopes of spreading awareness and making a bigger impact on our community. We’ll be organising events, writing posts, and sharing knowledge about set topic all throughout each month, so stay tuned!
Now, it is finally the time to reveal October’s topic, which is *drumrolls* - Mental Health!
As 10th of October is the World Mental Health day, it’s crucial to use it as a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it and work on destigmatising the issue.
So, what is mental health? Mental health is a term used to indicate a state of psychological well-being. Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem, it’s the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs in life.
Here are a few tips to improve your mental health:
1) TALK about your feelings and keep in touch
- Surround yourself with good people, connect with others.
2) TAKE CARE of your body
- Keep active, get plenty of sleep and sunlight, eat well and drink responsibly.
3) ask for HELP
- Seeking help is a sign of strength, so reach out, whether it’s to a friend or a professional.
4) take a BREAK
- Slow down, break up the monotony and find ways to cope with stress and manage it.
5) do something you’re GOOD at, you ENJOY
- Lose yourself in activities you love doing and forget about the rest of the world for a while.
6) ACCEPT who you are, VALUE yourself
- Practice self-care, recognise and be proud of your uniqueness.
7) CARE for others
- Volunteer and engage in activities that provide meaning.
8) practice HEALTHY THINKING
- Quiet your mind, avoid thinking traps (thinking something’s bad even though it isn’t) like focusing only on the negative, jumping to conclusions… - reframe unhelpful thoughts.
We hope these tips will help you keep a healthy mind and inspire you to care more not only about your own mental health, but also about the mental health of those around you.
Stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness is still a problem, and it leads to people avoiding or delaying seeking treatment due to concerns about being treated differently. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers some suggestions about what we can do as individuals to help reduce the stigma of mental illness:
1) Talk openly about mental health.
2) Educate yourself and others.
3) Be conscious of language – remind people that words matter.
4) Encourage equality between physical and mental illness.
5) Show compassion for those with mental illness.
6) Normalise mental health treatment.
7) Let the media know when they are presenting stories of mental illness in a stigmatising way.
8) Choose empowerment over shame.
All of us can contribute to create a mentally healthy community – one that is inclusive, rejects the stigma and supports recovery.
As students, you can get free professional help in counseling centers of our universities:
Until next month and a new topic - protect your mental health! :)