Many celebrities and common people came together Monday in an effort to support World Mental Health Day. October 10th was the official “holiday” but people have been making sure the awareness didn’t stop there. In fact some celebrities are still promoting the #IAMWHOLE campaign, and drawing a big “O” on their hand in effort to promote mental health awareness. The people in the video are very British but you can watch it here.
World Mental Health Day is about more than knowing if a friend needs you, but rather, as someone who is not ill, knowing how to be there for a loved one in their darkest moments. Even Prince William and his wife made an effort to get out there and talk about mental health.
“Mental health is not a dirty word – we all have mental health like we do physical health, good or ill. But not seeking help at those times when it all seems too much, or we are depressed or anxious, can impact the rest of our lives,” William said.
World Mental Health Day is a day from everyone, weather afflicted with mental illness or not, to come together for a cause that all believe in. However, it should not be limited to one day in October, we should practice being there for others everyday, depressed or not. In one article I read, there was a lot of good advice for people trying to help a loved one when they are having a bad day- so i effort to help someone help others I think it would be good to reiterate some of them.
- Reaching out helps a lot. Sure, a Facebook message or a text is nice, but face to face contact helps a lot more.
- Don’t tell someone with depression to “cheer up” or “get over it” if they could do that they probably would. Sometimes, that it’s just not that easy.
- “Don’t confuse my humor, joy, wit or intelligence as symptoms of my illness.” – this to me kind of hits home. Though depression can be debilitating, I am me underneath the illness nonetheless.
- Be here for me, ride out the lowest lows and you’ll be there for the highest highs- it’s not easy for either party, but it’s better not to go it alone.
- Ask me how I’m doing, and what I need, though sometimes I don’t even know the answer to that.
- Give me space if I need it, but let me know you’re here if I need you too.
- Offer words on encouragement, let them know things can and will get better, don’t try to “fix” the situation, just be there.
- Let your loved ones know they are no burden to you. Depression can make you feel like you’re dragging everyone else down with you, which sucks. Being supportive can be hard sometimes, but remember it’s not that person’s fault and they would do the same for you in a time of need.
There’s lots of other ways to “be there” for a loved one, you can read further in this article.
So happy (late) World Mental Health Day. Remember to be there for the ones you love, depressed or not, cause someday you might need them just as bad.