In these unusual times most of us are learning to maintain friendships from a distance, creating new ways to feel connected, and developing new skills to create new connections. Many new online book clubs, online recipe exchange clubs, and places to share patterns and crafting projects have begun. Our mental health awareness needs to go above and beyond.
“True friends are always together in spirit.”
– Anne of Green Gables, L M Montgomery.
Let’s be honest we are mostly creatures of habit and our favorite things to discuss, and do, bring us comfort when we have no control over the world around us. My this week’s excitement is finding friends to share my love of crochet and languages. Outside of my obsession with books, my favorite pastime and entertainment is, well, discovering new languages and crochet. Sometimes both work together when the patterns are written in Japanese for amigurumi toys (Japanese cartoon characters recreated as crocheted toys).
Unfortunately, for some people this situation, pandemic, we are thrust into the midst of – without notice, with no warning, brings forth a far darker challenge. With this forced isolation, cutoff from their usual routines, attempting to fight off “the depths of despair”, they are faced with loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Daily life as we know it has become chaos for the largest part, but most of us can readjust reasonably well – finding a new order and adding in the new routines for safety and hygiene (wearing masks and washing hands).
However, if you need a fixed, unchanging routine to keep you grounded in reality and hold order to reduce the stress and potential panic a major disruption causes, this does not bode well for you. (I don’t ever do well without my morning schedule).
Mental Health Awareness is much more …
If you are used to getting to the gym or swimming for morning exercise, I was advised walking in the sunshine is a great alternative. This can actually be done as a walk around your kitchen table for 30minutes with the sun streaming in the window, walking around your balcony or down the hallway.
It will give you the same boost to your morning with an adjustment to your routine not a major change or needing to drop it totally. Have you got some favorite music you always wanted to blast out while you were exercising but were never quite game? Today’s the day to make this walking game fun!
Statistics in Australia as discussed by Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au) show that 1 in 16 people are experiencing depression right now. Have you checked in with your friends you have not heard from much lately?
Did you call your neighbors and ask, “how are you doing?”.
10th September: is Suicide Awareness and “R U Ok?” Day!
In their lifetime approximately 1 in 7 people will experience an episode of Depression, and 1 in 4 Australians will experience Anxiety. The statistics given by Beyond Blue show that in 2018, 3000 Australians lost their lives to suicide.
That is approximately 8 deaths a day. Fortunately, figures are also beginning to indicate that many more people are seeking assistance when they have Mental Health troubles, be it with Depression, Anxiety or something else. Approximately half of these people will continue on to formal treatments.
October 2020 – Mental Health Awareness Month
In Australia, October is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health Awareness Day occurs on 10 October this year. Across Australia various Mental Health Awareness Campaigns are being run on the theme of “Tune In”. The focus is on being present, being aware. “Strengthening our Community” #strongertogether.
How do we show our support?
- Talk about Mental Health
- Make the time to ask how the person is
- Find out if they need more assistance than you can provide and would like help contacting a professional.
- In Australia, if they are in immediate danger call 000 for Emergency Services. (In the USA call 911)