Mental health is often associated with mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted by many. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which each individual realises his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Hence, mental health is more about how well a person is, rather than how problematic a person is.
Here are two facts about mental health:
- Around 1 in 5 of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental disorder.
- Almost 800,000 people die by suicide every year; 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.
With Covid-19 hitting the shores of Australia, and many families and individuals in isolation, a simple “How are you doing?” goes a long way. We might be isolated from our usual community, but that does not mean our hearts stops caring. With technology and intentional effort, hope and love can still be shared and spread. You can cook and deliver to a friend or family, play games together online, video-call one another, or even volunteer at your local community centre (Hands of Hope). Good mental health starts from us, and continues when we care less about ourselves, and more about others. Let’s turn ‘I’m alone’ into ‘We’re in this together’.
By Jerome Ng