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Caring for Ourselves and Our Loved Ones This World Mental Health Day

Caring for Ourselves and Our Loved Ones This World Mental Health Day

Here’s important information about World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day is an annual designation observed every October 10th.  The main goal of this day is to spread awareness about mental health issues around the world and to create compassion for those affected by mental illness, as well as to provide support for their loved ones.

This year, the theme of World Mental Health Day is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.”  This focuses specifically on the toll that stress, uncertainty, and emerging pressures can take on the mental health of younger individuals.  Not only do adolescents have to contend with hormonal changes, peer pressure, life changes within their households, uncertainty about what the future holds, and trying to find jobs, but they also have to worry about increased financial pressures as well.  Additionally, the rise of online networks and social media platforms also introduce a new arena of pressure and stress that older generations did not have to contend with.

This World Mental Health Day asks us to recognize these stressors in our adolescent youth and other young people that we have contact with.  Many mental illnesses may begin as young as 14 and often are undiagnosed, and untreated, it is also important that we watch for warning signs.  Traditional forms of “acting out” such as rebelliousness, alcohol and drug use, unsafe sexual behaviors, dangerous risk-taking, and general withdrawal from friends and loved ones can all be indicators of mental illness or a red flag that deserves attention.

If we suspect that a loved one is struggling with a mental health challenge, it’s important that we do not ignore it or avoid this possibility in any way. Quite the contrary, we should try to understand the stressors that the individual is dealing with and encourage them to seek healthier means of expression or arrange for counseling.  It’s important that we remember that we cannot always offer the full support that a young person needs.  This is why it’s important to seek outside help from mental health professionals when necessary.

While this year’s World Mental Health Day focuses specifically on youth, it’s also important that we take stock of our mental wellness.  It’s essential that we seek help and support for our mental challenges as well.  It’s important that we destigmatize any judgment about this essential and often unrecognized and underreported malady.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope that you will make your mental health and the mental health of your loved ones a priority this World Mental Health Day.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.  Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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