Our health is our most valuable asset. Our overall quality of life very much hinges on the quality of our health. More than ever, we live in a world that is growing more and more aware of this fact, and as a result we are becoming more and more obsessed with all aspects of our health. In saying this, our ongoing investment and understanding in our physical health is more profoundly felt and invested in than ever; we consistently grow more conscious of it with every passing day. Mental health, on the other hand, is unfortunately quite the opposite.
Mental health is more difficult to understand on an in-depth level, as well as a basic surface level, because it is often (if not always) more difficult to see. Physical health issues are often (again, if not always) aesthetically visible, whereas mental health struggles are more easily masked, owing to their internal nature. It is very much up to the affected individual who sees their struggle, and unfortunately, thanks in no small part to the toxic stigma surrounding all things mental health, many affected individuals feel like they should hide their struggle.
Mental health as a global epidemic
This reaction to recognising one’s own inner struggle is potentially damaging, and even, in severe cases, fatal. The fact of the matter is that mental health struggles can impact anyone, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Mental health struggle does not discriminate. Despite this inherent truth, the ugly reality is that the toxic stigma that has always surrounded mental health, has resulted in a cruel reaction to mental health struggle from many.
Many people treat mental health like a choice, a behavioural issue that is easily and quickly remedied, if the affected individual would just “change their mindset”. This attitude towards mental health is not only inadequate, but it is dangerous, and even in some cases fatal. It is this stigma that is largely (but not entirely) responsible for the rising number of affected individuals around the world. In fact, mental health has reached just dramatic heights that it is now a global epidemic.
The battle to right the ship
While mental health has historically been a difficult aspect of overall health to nail down, it is now finally reaching a point where the many people are more actively and consistently aware and working towards stronger frontiers in handling mental health struggles. It has been a long time coming, and it is well overdue at this point, but it is better late than never, as they say. Now, the battle to right the ship has just begun, and it all starts with establishing and maintaining a stronger, more honest, open, and supportive mindset towards mental health.
Changing the mindset towards mental health struggles
The fact is that if it were you in need of assistance, you would want people to help you. So, we should all be working to help others. Whether it is sitting down and offering some Gorilla Glue by ILGM in a safe environment (consult your medical professional first, of course), or simply asking loved ones how they are doing, or any other number of actions and reactions that boost an honest and supportive attitude towards mental health, all steps in the right direction, no matter how small, are worth their weight in gold. Life is too precious.