Did you know that since 1949, May has been observed as ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ in the United States?
Between then and now, global understanding and awareness about mental health has hugely changed. Both scientific and cultural progress has been made, helping to de-stigmatise mental health as well as improve the prevention and cure of diseases.
So, what is ‘mental health’? There are many definitions, but our favourite is the World Health Organisation’s (WHO):
‘Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community… Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’
We applaud this definition because it looks at mental health as equal to physical health – our whole health. There are a huge range of mental health conditions, but the statistics are staggering: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults (US) experiences a mental health condition every year. Awareness really is the answer when it comes to talking about mental health, continuing to break down any stigma attached to it and helping people to get the right support.
At People’s, we’re not here to diagnose or judge. We are simply here to help you live your best life. That’s why we suggest these tips to help you be aware of your mental health as well as that of the people you love. Awareness won’t cure conditions, but it can help to encourage conversations and lead to the right support which can make the world of difference.
1. If in doubt, chat to a professional. Did you know that there are support groups in Bermuda who can help with mental illness? Check out The Bermuda Mental Health Foundation for more information or visit your doctor for advice.
2. Take time to find moments of peace. Did you know that mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety and mental stress? Check out this article from Harvard Medical School. From meditation accessories to essential oils, yoga accessories and scented candles, People’s has a range of items which might help you to find some mental space.
3. Be aware of the symptoms. Do you know the symptoms of poor mental health? Have a read of this list from WebMD to help you spot some of the warning signs of mental illness in both yourself and the people around you.
4. Have a chat. 42% of people surveyed in the UK agreed that a simple conversation can really help with their mental health. Make time for an open, honest conversation this week and see if it helps you and your loved ones feel better!
Finally, whilst diagnosed mental health conditions require appropriate medical attention, we recommend trying essential oils to see if they can help you find moments of calm and balance in your daily life. There are many ways to use essential oils, from inhalation to topically on your skin and even ingestion, so check the oils you’re buying before you use them and if in doubt, please ask our pharmacists or check with your doctor. Just a few of the natural essential oils and products we sell at People’s include:
We wish you, your family and friends a fully healthy day and month of May.
Thank you to the following organisations whose information and links we have used to inform this blog post: