Mental Wellness Month is a public health and awareness campaign organized by the International Association of Insurance Professionals (IAIP), an educational organization created for insurance professionals. It aims to highlight the importance of mental wellness and not mental health since mental wellness is not just the absence of mental illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental wellness as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.
The growing wellness movement teaches people to focus on their physical and mental health before illnesses even begin to develop. It is more on prevention instead of treating what is already there. More and more mental health professionals are advocating the periodic mental health check-up just like having physical check-ups with a physician.
Purpose of Mental Wellness Month
The main purpose of Mental Wellness Month is to highlight the importance of taking care of our mental health even before issues begin to develop. In a way, it is for preventing mental health problems from developing in the first place. The public health and awareness campaign also informs the public on how to improve mental wellness and eliminate threats to mental wellness.
Many aspects of daily life can have a negative effect on mental wellness. In some cases, they can even trigger the development of mental illness in people who have certain physical or psychological risk factors. Just like other illnesses, those that are connected to mental health can occur in people of any age gender, race or socioeconomic status. There are numerous mental disorders that can manifest in different degrees from mild to severe. What should be kept in mind is that treatment is available and there is always possibility of recovery.
What You can do on Mental Wellness Month?
- Use social media to increase awareness of mental wellness issues
- Urge your school or employer to create mental wellness programs for students/employees
- Get a regular mental health check-up and encourage your family and friends to do the same
- Organize an activity in your school, community or at work for Mental Wellness Month
- Contact your local radio and television stations and get them to make a public service announcement for Mental Wellness Month
- Distribute educational materials and posters related to mental wellness
- Ask your local newspapers to helps spread awareness of mental wellness issues
- Organize a symposium in your community discussing the importance of mental wellness
- Work with your local newspaper and other organizations to create an essay writing contest on any significant subject related to mental wellness
Message on Mental Wellness Month
Emotional and cognitive well-being can be negatively affected by a variety of factors like work, school, relationships, financial problems, excessive stress, etc. There are also physical factors like illness which can make one susceptible to mental wellness issues. However, we can take a proactive approach in taking care of your mental wellness which can be effective in preventing more serious problems from developing.
Special Tips on Mental Wellness Month
Here are easy ways to improve mental well-being:
- Develop A Positive Attitude – It is not that easy but you can train your mind to become more positive. This can help you lead a happier and more successful life. Focus on positive thoughts and be thankful for everything you have. Never dwell on negative issues in your life.
- Learn Self-Appreciation – Focus on your strengths and try to improve on your weaknesses. Do not speak negatively about yourself even when no one is around. Learn to laugh at your mistakes but learn from them and think of them as valuable lessons.
- Strengthen Mental Resilience – There is always an opportunity even on the biggest crisis situations. Even when you are losing, remember that you are learning and evolving. Expand your options and grow stronger.
- Laugh – Laughter is definitely the best medicine. It is also a great way to take care of your mental wellness and manage stress. Indulge in things you enjoy like watching your favorite shows on television.
- Affiliate – Develop and maintain relationships with other people. An extended support network is vital for your well-being. You need to have people that you can rely on to share experiences and help cope with situations.
- Exercise Regularly – Physical activities can increase energy and release neurotransmitters in the brain that fight anxiety and depression. Try yoga and meditation which are great forms of exercises for mental wellness.
Most people are aware of the importance of maintaining physical health. However, they are not aware of the importance of mental wellness which enhances many other aspects of a person’s life. Mental Wellness Month is a reminder to take care of our mental health even when there are no issues. To achieve overall balance, we need to take care of our physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellness.