Last week our club meeting’s theme was mental health. It was to remember that the month of May is mental health month and be there for each other when needed.
Here’s my speech on my learnings about mental health.
One, and Five!
The answer is not Six. It’s the percentage of mental disorders in 2019. Nearly 20% of U.S. adults live under a mental struggle, roughly 51.5 million of the population. Last year was even worse: about 40% of U.S. residents reported symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder that negatively affected people’s mental health during the pandemic.
Over the course of our lives, we may encounter mental challenges – our thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected due to dramatic changes in lives. Recently, not long ago, a famous female tennis player – Naomi Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam tournament winner, quit the French Open. She openly shared that she had suffered anxiety and depression since 2018 due to media questions about her victory over Serena Williams at the U.S open. (read more)
It took tremendous bravery to speak out about her depression in public, admitting she has struggled with her mental health for a few years.
Conservatively, people were not comfortable talking about the subject. People considered mental illness as no path for depressive people returning to a sound mental state. However, in 1949, with the media and event support, an organization – Mental Health America (MHA), started Mental Health Month in May, which raised awareness that people should take care of their physical condition and mental state well-being.
During the topic search, there are a few misconceptions that hopefully help us rethink mental health problems.
- Mental health problems are not common – this is not true. As previously noted, 20% of U.S. residents have struggled with mental health. In 2020, a newer search from WHO pointed out that mental disorders are among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide. It’s not uncommon.
- Does a mental illness mean you are “crazy?” No. It only means you are in a mentally vulnerable state, similar to your physical condition. If you don’t eat properly, you may have obesity or anorexia.
- Are mental health problems permanent? A mental health diagnosis is not a life sentence. Most people will be in the recovery process after receiving proper treatment.
If you encounter mental health challenges, here are three things that may help.
- Embrace and Accept. Accept your feelings and realities, live with ‘Now.’ Thinking about the future won’t help solve the problem instead of developing fears and worries.
- Have positive thoughts – good; have positive actions – better. Try exercise and meditation. Do the things that will make you feel good about yourself.
- Find your support group. Reach out to the support group either from family or friends, share how you feel, and tell them you need their support.
Remember, you are not alone. You are not the only one who faces the problem. We are all on the battlefield of protecting our mental health.
Written by Jojo, a member of Women L.E.A.D. Toastmasters
Photo Credit – Pexels free photos