This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.
The economic consequences of the pandemic are already being felt, as companies let staff go in an effort to save their businesses, or indeed shut down completely.
Given past experience of emergencies, it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years. Investment in mental health programmes at the national and international levels, which have already suffered from years of chronic underfunding, is now more important than it has ever been.
This is why the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health.WHO
Ridhima is a Time to Change Champion living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and severe depression. After experiencing difficult events in her life, she struggled to be heard by the people around her, and faced the misconceptions around mental health in her South Asian community. She now speaks at events to change attitudes and end the stigma around mental health.
This World Mental Health Day, Ridhima shares what she wants everyone to know about mental health.