Mental health is a sickness of the brain that affects thinking, behaviour, energy or emotions. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It disturbs how we think, feel, and act. It remains the silent killer as most cases are not diagnosed or treated. Suicide is one of the most common consequences of mental health problems. South Africa has the eighth highest rate of suicide in the world. According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) in South Africa, there are 23 recorded suicides a day, and for every suicide, there are a further 20 attempted suicides.
Tips on how to take care of your mental health
- Talking about how you feel can help you to stay in good mental health and it is not the sign of weakness.
- Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health by eating nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water.
- Look after your physical well-being. Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally.
- Surround yourself with good people, maintaining relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing.
- Take breaks, be kind to yourself and take time just for you, even if it is just a few minutes to take some deep breaths and step outside into the fresh air.
- Get enough sleep, sleeping improves mood and health.
The green ribbon is the international symbol for mental health awareness. By wearing a green ribbon, it shows support and care about mental health. Green is the colour of mental health representing hope, strength and support. It also shows those struggling with mental health problems that there is support and that they are not alone.
It is important that we talk about mental health issues in order to help those who are struggling with it. When people show us signs of mental health illness we need to take them seriously and assist them. We can make a difference in our communities by reaching out to mental health patients and let them know that they are not alone. People who are suffering from mental health should not be afraid of speaking to a family member, therapist, or friend. Bottling up how you feel can lead to suicide.
If you feel like you want to talk to someone about your mental health issues. You can call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 011 262 6396/0800 12 13 14.