Wednesday, October 10, 2012

World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, dedicated by the World Health Organization to open discussion about mental health issues and needs. This year's theme is "Depression: A Global Crisis."

We are surrounded by people who have invisible illnesses. Whether it's depression or anxiety or an eating disorder or psychosis or addiction or... So many people struggle through this world and we have no way of knowing unless we are told. They have every right to not tell us, but this is a reminder that we must all move through the world with compassion. We don't know what burdens others carry.

That jerk who cut you off in traffic? Maybe they're having a panic attack and need to get to the side of the road. Maybe they are rushing to help a friend. Or maybe they are a jerk. You don't know.

Your co-worker who is glaring at everyone and sighing all the time? Maybe their meds were adjusted and they feel crummy. Maybe they were up half the night with insomnia. Or maybe they're just in a really bad mood. You don't know.

Your family member who hurt your feelings? Maybe they're depressed and aren't as aware of others as usual. Maybe they are afraid because they're hearing voices. Or maybe it's just family politics. You don't know.

This is a call to compassion. This is a call to the kind voice, asking if everything is okay, and then being content if the answer is "yes." This is a call to appropriate boundaries, that we cannot save others but only offer them resources to save themselves. This is a call to helping people get help, recognizing that care is available, acknowledging that mental illness is not a choice but we can choose to try to get better.

This is a call to a kinder world. One where we take a deep breath and remember that we each carry our own burdens.

If you or someone you care about needs mental health assistance, start here. If you or someone you love is suicidal call 1-800-SUICIDE. Get help. The world needs you.

(c)2012 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
Related Posts with Thumbnails