I never quite imagined that I would fall into a line of work that would have such a role in the state of people's mental health as I do. However, it does make sense as mental health has been such a tremendous theme in my life and is, I believe one of the most important themes of all humanity. Less and less mental health is stigmatized and more and more it is becoming part of our everyday conversation, but I truly believe we still have so much further to go and to fully understand.
There are times in all of our lives when we can feel 'off' or as if things can start to feel too much. Stress and pressure at work, with family or socially can become a weight that feels hard to carry sometimes. Perhaps we are experiencing uncertainty and worried about finances, relationships or even our health. Perhaps there has just been a series of events gone wrong and it feels as if our luck will never change for the better. Life can feel tough, can feel overwhelming, and it can feel pretty lonely sometimes. A very big majority of people will feel some of these things occasionally in their lives, or very often.
We may shake it off and think it isn't a big deal. We may not want to burden those around us with our problems, so hold it all in, and hold it all together. We may even feel ashamed and guilty for feeling the way we do as we may feel that we are being ungrateful, that we are weak, being selfish, or overly sensitive. Not being able to nurture our mental health by seeking support, learning healthy coping skills that help us navigate the difficult times, and not being able to identify when we do need help can be counterproductive and even dangerous.
After the year we have had and are still having, we are seeing an unprecedented deterioration in mental health on a worldwide scale, and scientists are concerned we are seeing a mental health crisis. Now more than ever before, it is so important to bring awareness to our own mental health and to really understand and be caring about the mental health of all those around us. "More than 42% of people surveyed by the US Census Bureau in December reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in December, an increase from 11% the previous year. Data from other surveys suggest that the picture is similar worldwide. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00175-z.