Mental health is something millions of people face on a daily basis; however, how many of those actually seek help? Stigmas attached to mental health mean those suffering feel unable to speak out, fearful of how others will react. World Mental Health Day gives support and strength to those struggling, reminding them help is available. The date is 10/10 – but is your mental health?
Mental health is among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide, affecting 450 million individuals worldwide. In 2017, the U.K. recorded its lowest rates of suicide since records began in 1981, showing the importance of awareness schemes and spotlight events, such as Mental Health Day. However, there is still so much more that can be done.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects everything we do, from dealing with stress and interacting with others, to the decisions and choices we make. Developing a mental health issue can differ from person to person. For example, it may be in your genes and brain chemistry, you might be affected by a life experience, or possibly have history of it within your family.
So how can we improve our mental health?
Good Mood Food
Chocolate: Despite its reputation, chocolate increases your happiness, reducing stress. Experts believe this could be due to the antioxidants in chocolate, however, this is not a greenlight to binge eat chocolate!
Fish: Eating fish provides you with omega 3, also a key mood boosting nutrient.
Fruit & Veg: Eating fresh fruit and vegetables daily nourishes your body and mind with nutrients and slow release energy.
Carbohydrates: Researchers suspect that carbs promote the production of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical.
If You Have a Problem, Tell Someone
What’s more, studies show we aren’t getting enough sleep! Most of us are achieving around five to six hours of sleep every night; however, the recommended amount of sleep is seven to eight hours a night. At least! Every extra minute we can get helps.
Alcohol and drug consumption, believe it or not, is a depressant. Due to the come down effects, excessive alcohol and drug abuse is not a good solution to any problem.
Casual exercise will result in positive mental health, improving your physical health and self-esteem. Anything such as 20 minutes of light cardio is sure to improve your mental health, releasing your negative energy into something positive.
Most importantly, tell someone. Dealing with mental health alone is not the solution. There are people who are willing to listen and help. Whether that’s a family member, a friend, or even just someone that you trust, support is essential.
Clinical Research in Mental Health
Additionally, there are numerous phase III clinical trials taking place in clinical research, for example, social anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, and depression. With exciting progression like this taking place across the mental health clinical trial space, now is the time for hope for those suffering.
As we can all agree, mental health is no joke, and is something to be taking very seriously. Therefore days like today where we, as a society can create awareness and support for those suffering, should be utilized and encouraged.