World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is celebrated on the 10th of October every year, with the overall goal of raising awareness and breaking down the stigma of mental health. This year, WMHD focused its campaign on ‘mental health for all’.
Why do we need World Mental Health Day?
***Trigger warning! The following section will mention recent statistics relating to suicide and self-harm***
·1 in 4 people experience mental health-related issues each year, and mental illness is the second-largest source of burden of disease in England. This is because mental health-related issues are likely to be long-lasting compared to other health conditions1.
·In England, mental health presents a significant ecological burden, with approximately £105 billion spent on supporting mental health services each year1.
·In 2019, 5,691 suicides were registered in England and Wales, with men accounting for ¾ of the suicide rates during this time2.
·In 2016-18, 371 deaths identified as suicide occurred in the Lancashire area, which was significantly higher when compared to suicide rates in England during this time3.
·Statistics from 2014 reported that approximately 6.4% of adults participate in non-suicidal self-harm4 (however, it should be noted that the real numbers relating to the rates of self-harm are likely to be largely underestimated).
·Statistics have shown that over one third of the public reportedly perceived people with a mental illness as dangerous and violent. However, those who have a mental illness are more likely to present a risk to themselves than they are to another person. Moreover, those with a severe mental illness are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of violent crime1.
These statistics highlight the importance of WMHD. Mental health can affect individuals at any and every stage of life, so it’s important to share the voices of those living with a mental illness to further break down social barriers for support.
What did Breathe Therapies do?
Breathe Therapies’ aim this year was to promote recovery, support, and to destigmatise mental health.
“Remember, recovery is possible”
“Our goal has been to help more people see that mental health isn’t always black and white”
“You should never feel ashamed or nervous to seek help”
- Breathe Therapies' messages for World Mental Health Day 2020
The Friday before WMHD, staff members wore green to show their love and support for those who are experiencing mental health-related difficulties. The green ribbon is an international symbol for mental health awareness, and it represents strength, hope, support, and encouragement.
Breathe also teamed up with Olympic gymnast, Nile Wilson, who helped to spread Breathe’s message of support for mental illness to a wider audience. In his video posted to Instagram stories, Wilson made reference to his own fight against depression, anxiety, eating disorders and addiction which he faced during his athletic career.
“As a human, this is still something that I struggle with every single day”
Wilson also spoke of his experiences of low-mood during the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has presented us with many challenges, and those with mental health issues may be experiencing even greater social isolation than before. However, Wilson also shared his experiences of receiving monthly support from his therapist.
“Thankfully at the right time I asked for help”
Both Wilson and Breathe Therapies have a shared vision of breaking the stigma of mental illness, especially in males. Men’s mental health is a significant concern because men account for up to 18.2% of the suicide rates in the Lancashire area, and ¾ of the suicide rates across England.
“Sometimes you feel less of a man if you talk about your feelings or emotions and that is not the case”
It is hoped that Wilson’s story will encourage others who are struggling with their own mental health to do the same.
If you believe you are suffering from mental health issues, reach out. For more information on our mental health programmes and how we can help please click here. We are here to help and we truly do believe that recovery is possible. 🦋
This article was written by Ellie Tkocz who is one of our volunteers.