World Mental Health Day

Every year on October 10, Mental Health Day is celebrated all over the world.

Ask yourself every day, not only on 10.10. – “How are you?”

You are the one living in the time of a full-scale Russian invasion. You – who feels anxious and does not feel a strong support under your feet. You are not sure today what tomorrow will bring. You are the one who reads the news about heartbreaking tragedies. You are the one who thinks about loved ones, acquaintances and strangers, forgetting about yourself.

And you – “How are you?”

The answers may be different, but they must be honest. After all, this will be the beginning of the path to what is the basic value of mental health – the well-being of a person and how happy he feels.

The great upheavals inherent in the present time bring not only grief and suffering, but also peel off everything superfluous, unimportant, showing true values.

In trials, we nurture our resilience. The incredible Ukrainians, who have been resisting full-scale Russian aggression for more than a year and a half, know well what it is. And the whole world sees the manifestations of this resilience and admires it. We have values (the highest is a person and his life), we act according to the laws of morality, we learn to navigate in the new reality (unfortunately, this reality is warlike and traumatic), we support each other.

The Ukrainian sustainability formula can and should be relevant in the global context because mental health is a challenge not only for us, but also for the whole world. This was shown by an international study conducted for the third Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen and presented on September 6 in Kyiv.

Mental health is a universal human right. It is not only the absence of disorders. These are the internal resources for living life. Realize your abilities. Work. To take care of others without forgetting (!) about yourself.

Mental health is also about trust between us. About the ability not only to ask questions, but also to listen to the answer. About the strength to look inside yourself and share what is really there. About the lack of fear of judgment and prejudice.

The same international study showed that stigma hinders not only taking action to improve one’s mental well-being, but even talking about it. Most still believe that it can be shameful or affect the reputation in society, attitude in the family.

However, there is good news. People, especially teenagers, believe that talking about mental health in social media and pop culture can make a difference. As well as the openness of thought leaders, the openness of people about their experiences.

Your story can give someone the strength to just speak up. Or even show the way to growth through overcoming difficulties.