10th October each year, the world commemorates World Mental Health Day (WMHD). Before asking yourself why to commemorate and not celebrate, have you ever asked, “how much do I know about my mental state? What’s my mental health budget worth in terms of both finance and time? What would be my attitude if someone asked me to see a psychiatrist or psychologist? What’s my perception of people with mental illnesses? Etc”. Giving yourself honest answers to those questions will automatically answer why we commemorate and not celebrate.
This year’s theme globally in commemorating this day is “Mental Health in an unequal world”. Dr Hafsa Lukwata, the head of the mental health program in the Ministry of Health, had to break it down to the national level, and thus Uganda’s theme is “Mental health for all leave no one behind”.
When you sit down and draw your mental health curve from 10th October 2020 to 10th October 2021, is your curve diminishing or elevating? Do you feel you need to take yourself out for ice cream to celebrate your mental state achievement or commemorate it? Either way, you still deserve an ice cream any flavour of your choice bill on you but trust me, its taste will be different depending on the purpose of taking it (either commemorate or celebrate).
Note: Are you proud of your mental state? Whichever answer you have, remember that someone commits suicide every 40 seconds globally. Suicide ideation and attempt are part of a bigger picture of the general outlook of the people affected. People who needed help but never received it. Or it was too little, too late.