Every year on October 10th we pay some extra attention to the subject of mental health. The World Health Organization has named this day World Mental Health Day. In this year’s theme: young people and mental health in a changing world.
In the Netherlands we do pretty well regarding mental health. From age 12 and older, almost 89% say they feel psychologically healthy. Young people: between 12 and 16 years old are doing even better, 95% say they feel mentally healthy. These are nice percentages, so why is such a dedicated day still needed?
What does ‘mentally healthy’ mean?
The percentages sound positive but they don’t tell you everything. The concept of being ‘mentally healthy’ is difficult to describe. For example, you may not feel well but you still feel mentally healthy.
Furthermore, you don’t necessarily have to suffer from mental health problems your whole life. In the Netherlands, 43.5% of the population ever struggled with mental health complaints. Also, no less than 34% to 50% of the Dutch population has an increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder or depression. It is good to be aware of this so that something can be done about it!
Young people and mental health
Many young people suffer from mental health complaints such as stress, worrying and sleep deprivation. This could be caused, by for example, being ‘online’ all the time via social media like Whatsapp and Instagram. Also, more and more of Dutch youth suffer from a game addiction or problematic social media use. And did you know that half of all mental disorders start around the age of 14? Therefore, prevention at a young age is important. Recognizing the problem and talking about it is the first step.
A special day
It’s not surprising that there is one special day in the year to reflect on mental health. An international day helps to discuss mental health issues and break the taboo. On top of that, it helps to create awareness regarding these problems. It’s a good time to reflect on your own mental health, also at times when you feel well. We can be grateful for that!
NiceDay: Pay attention to your mental health, for example by writing down in the diary in the NiceDay-app how you are doing. Also write down the positive things!