Here at Thoughts From The Bench we typically talk about sports and entertainment. Well today is a little different. Today is #BellLetsTalk Day and for anyone that doesn’t know what that means, it’s basically Canada’s day to promote Mental Health Awareness. Social media users use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to promote mental health awareness, and the best part is every time the hashtag is used 5 cents is donated towards mental health initiatives in Canada.
You may ask yourself, “I live in the US, how does this effect me?” Well to be honest #BellLetsTalk might not effect funds in Mental Health Awareness in the US, but just spreading the awareness is a reward in itself.
According to American Psychological Association suicide rates in the US have risen in the past two decades. In fact, the last recorded stats in 2017 showed a 33% increase since 1999. Suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death in people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death in ages 35-54. Many of us have had friends or family who have taken their own lives, and all we want is to be able to prevent this from happening to other individuals. So that leads us to the question, what do we do to prevent it?
Well first things first we need to spread Mental Health Awareness. #BellLetsTalk is a great example of this, but we need more. We need people who have suffered from depression and other disorders to be open with their past experiences. Talking about their past will help others who might be going through the same thing, and prevent them from hurting themselves or others.
The most important thing we need to realize is nobody is perfect. Heck, there’s been plenty of times where I myself have been stressed to the max and just in an overall funk. For example, just last year I was laid off at work. I applied to jobs day after day, getting a few interviews along the way only to be turned down time after time. At the rate I was going, I thought I’d never find another job. All I wanted to do was give up. But hey you know what, with the support of my friends and family I kept at. Eventually I landed a new job, and everything was great again.
Every one struggles from something whether it be anxiety, depression, the loss of a love one, studying for big exam, and even break-ups. Break-ups are tough, I will admit it. However it’s not the end of the world. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes it’s for the best. You just have to keep you head up and look forward to the future. Now dealing with situations like these might not be easy for everyone, and I understand sometimes you just hit a wall. Over the years, I have learned every one has their own way of coping with their experiences.
Some people may express themselves by crying, and hey more power to them. Others may, keep everything bundled up. Might not be the best way, but if it works for you have at it. So what else can you do to build your mental awareness? Well, the simple thing to do is take deep breathes and tell yourself everything is going to be alright. If that doesn’t work maybe sit down and play some video games to take your mind off of things. Not good at video games? Ok, maybe sign up to play a sport. It’s a great way to make new friends, and to clear your head. Not an athlete? That’s fine too, just play some of your favorite songs to get you back on track. Music not your thing? That’s okay, pick out your favorite book and go to town. These are just some of the options people take to remain in a good state of mental health. The point is everyone copes with stress and anxiety in their own way, and you find your niche and stick with it.
So today, on #BellLetsTalk day, let’s spread Mental Health Awareness from coast to coast and country to country. If you are someone who is not where they want to be mentally, know that you aren’t alone. There are people out there facing these issues day after day. If you need help don’t hesitate to reach out to others, myself included. Your family will always be willing to listen and help. If you aren’t close with your family reach out to your friends, coworkers, teammates, heck even the pizza delivery guy. The point is if you’re having a tough time someone out there will be right there with you to catch you if you fall. Don’t let life bully you to a point where you want to give up. Just remember we all have one life, and it’s a life worth living.