For those of you who didn’t know, it is currently Mental Health Awareness Week. Running from 13th-19th of May, it’s a chance for us to really consider where we’re at regarding the issue both individually and as a global community.
Mental health needs to be addressed like any other health concern, and as long as it remains stigmatized, it will remain a problem. Having said that, we might never get to a stage where everyone can feel completely comfortable in their own feelings, but we can work towards providing an environment where it’s completely acceptable to talk about – and address – concerns over anxiety, depression and low self-worth.
Mental Health Awareness week always has a prevailing focus, and this year’s main theme is body image. Although this is just one aspect of personal wellbeing, it remains one of the main concerns for both men and women around the world.
Society and the media have convinced us that it’s what is on the outside that counts. We are therefore in a crisis over what we look like, which does our self-esteem no favours at all. From a steady onslaught of perfectly-toned, sun-glistened torsos on our Instagram feed to a thriving protein-diet-culture, we are constantly exposed to what perfection looks like; and how we often don’t fit. It’s therefore little wonder that between 31%-37% of teenagers are seriously concerned about body image.
This appearance-obsessed ideology has a detrimental impact on our confidence and self-esteem, particularly affecting the most vulnerable. It is, therefore, crucial to remind ourselves that we are perfectly adequate and to alter the way we perceive our bodies: and what better time to start than Mental Health Awareness Week?
Stories about Mental Health
Sharing stories is invaluable in coming to terms with mental health, as it emphasizes that you are not alone in your problems. Whether it’s body image or social anxiety, we all have worries, and speaking out about them is a sure-fire way of alleviating the stigma surrounding mental health.
This is why we’ve decided to provide some useful links to not only help you get through the dark times but to celebrate mental health week as a movement that benefits everyone.
Feel free to leave comments about your thoughts on mental health, because the more we talk about it, the more we understand it.