Every year World Mental Health Day is held on 10th October. The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages everyone to promote this year’s theme of Making Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority:
“Let’s envision a world in which mental health is valued, promoted, and protected; where everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health and to exercise their human rights; and where everyone can access the mental health care they need. This will be an opportunity for people with mental health conditions, advocates, governments, unions, employers, employees, and other stakeholders to come together to recognize progress in this field and to be vocal about what we need to do to ensure Mental Health & Well-Being becomes a Global Priority for all”
There have been many advances when it comes to breaking the stigma around mental health, and more and more people are coming forward to share personal stories and experiences of their struggles and successes. More than ever, people are talking about mental health and are striving to make mental health a priority, but there’s still a long way to go. The COVID-19 pandemic, social and economic inequalities, world conflict, and increasing rates of stress and illness are contributing to the global mental health crisis. And there’s still a lack of funding and availability when it comes to services, especially in low and middle income countries.
Calltime Mental Health is joining in with World Mental Health Day as an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health; examine what’s working and what isn’t; and identifying which interventions are needed and where barriers persist.
If you are a member of one of BC’s Motion Picture sector unions, be sure to check out the mental health related benefits available to you and your family on the Union Benefits page, and our Resources page provides links to other mental health resources available to the public.
Building Your Resilience and Mental Health
As we consider our own mental and that of those around us, here are a few key tips for staying mentally healthy, building resilience, and living a meaningful life (whatever that means for you!)
Humans are social animals; we need to feel connected to other people not only to survive
but to thrive. Having people in your life that support you is key to mental health. It could be family members, friends, crew members, co-workers, or classmates. Here are a few more tips for building connections:
Ask for help. Others might not know if you’re struggling – asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it takes great strength to know what you need and ask for it.
Think of things you enjoy doing and see if there are ways to combine this with meeting new people
Let go of toxic friendships or people in your life. People who support you celebrate your successes and help you deal with problems. More on this here.
Learn a new skill
Learning something new, like an instrument, sport, or language, can build a sense of purpose, boost self-confidence, and help you to connect with other people. Here are a few ideas:
Sign up for an art or dance class
Sign up for an on-demand course on Udemy (https://www.udemy.com/) or Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/)
Subscribe to Amazon Kindle Unlimited and access free e-books and magazines
Many scientific studies have shown that getting good quality sleep consistently boosts physical and mental health. Although film workers work long hours and varying shifts, there are still strategies to implement. That means putting away your phone or other screens at least an hour before going to bed, stopping caffeine intake6 ours before bedtime, avoiding alcohol, drugs, and other stimulating substances, trying to go to bed at the same time every night whenever possible, and creating a calming space for you to sleep in. Sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a basic human need! For more information on this, click here.
Regular exercise isn’t only good for your physical health but also your mental health. It releases feel-good hormones in the brain, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and boosts your self-esteem. Even 7 – 10 minutes of cardio or weights a few times a week can make a noticeable difference. Here’s more information on how important exercise is for mental health.
What you eat and drink affects your mood, energy levels, and productivity. A good way to start is to keep a food journal and note down everything you consume each day for a week or so. Then consider how healthy your consumption is, how much fruit and vegetables you’re eating, if what you’re eating is nutritious, and how much water you’re drinking. If you’re really stuck you could get in touch with a doctor or nutritionist, but here is more information on this topic.
Emotional self-regulation refers to your ability to manage and control your emotions. Feeling emotions is healthy and even the emotions we might consider negative or unpleasant serve an important function, for example, fear (or anxiety) helps you to avoid danger. But sometimes emotions can feel out of our control and cause us to suffer. That’s why learning how to regulate your emotions is so important. Meditation and mindfulness are great tools to build this skill and have the added benefits of improving your focus and mental clarity, and increasing compassion towards yourself and others. For more tips, click here.
Giving to others can involve taking part in social and community projects or simply doing something nice for another person (an act of kindness). People who help others have been found to have higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and it’s so easy to do! You might try writing someone a letter of appreciation, helping someone with their shopping, or simply giving your time if they need someone to talk to.
Here we’ve given a few key tips for building good mental health but you might think of others – what are things in the past that have helped you through hard times? What strengths do you have that can pull you through? How can you help others to feel better?
This World Mental Health Day, check in with your friends, family, and even people you don’t know – we all have mental health so it’s time to end the stigma and make mental health a global priority for all.
For more information on World Mental Health Day 2022, check out the WHO’s campaign here.