World Mental Health Day was established in 1992 by the Federation for Mental Health. October 10th was designated as World Mental Health Day and was created to help raise awareness and acceptance of mental health issues, and end the stigma that was once associated with them. Mental health treatment can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, and substance abuse.
World Mental Health Day 2019
When it began, World Mental Health Day had no specific theme. In 1994, a theme was suggested, which was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services Throughout the World.” The theme for World Mental Health Day 2019 is “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention”. The WHO (World Health Organization) has made suicide prevention a priority for several years now. Suicide has been a controversial topic and issue throughout history.
The Risk to Adolescents
Suicide is often considered an adult problem. However, it is the most common cause of death for 15-29-year-olds. Clearly, adolescents are at risk. The purpose of declaring the World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness for suicide and educate people on suicide prevention. Suicide is a tragedy, but a preventable one.
Common Myths About Suicide
Suicide is a taboo subject and is a topic full of misconceptions. Understanding suicide is an important part of prevention, and it is necessary to have a clear idea of the basic thoughts and motivations someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts experience. The following are myths about suicide that are often believed to be true:
- Those who talk about it won’t go through with it
- Thoughts of suicide indicate the person is crazy
- You can’t stop a suicidal person
- Suicidal persons don’t want help
- Talking about suicide may introduce the idea
People who are considering suicide will normally give some indication. It may be direct threats to harm themselves or end their life or maybe more cryptic warnings like “you will miss me when I’m gone” or “your life would be better without me”. Most people who contemplate suicide are extremely depressed, isolated, and in a state of despair. They are generally not psychotic or insane. This misconception likely occurs because it’s hard for a mentally healthy person to comprehend why someone would want to end their life.
Suicidal persons want their pain to end, and often see ending their lives as the only way to do so. Many have conflicting thoughts and can be swayed if they see another way out. They may want help, but not know how to reach out for it. They may believe that help is beyond their reach. They may believe there’s no help available, or simply not know how to ask for it. This is false as well. Talking about suicide openly can actually be a relief with someone who is having suicidal thoughts. It gives them an opportunity to talk about their feelings without feeling judged. Bringing up suicide will never encourage someone to have suicidal thoughts.
Warning Signs of Suicide
There are several warning signs of suicide. Many of them involve a fixation with death or talking about suicide. Obtaining the means to commit suicide (knives, pills, guns, etc.) is also a warning sign. Emotional warning signs include a sudden sense of calm, self-loathing, and not having hope for the future.
Lastly, a suicidal person may begin to get their affairs in order. They may give away their possessions or mention that they want loved ones to have specific things after they are gone. They may also say goodbye.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
World Mental Health Day is an excellent time to consider your own mental health and that of your family and loved ones. Do you believe you or someone you love needs mental health treatment? If so, reach out to Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275. Help is available.