Magic Bellybutton alerted me to the fact that today is World Mental Health Day - how about that!!!
This day has been observed internationally for the last 15 years, and has been promoting mental health advocacy and public education. They World Federation for Mental Health stresses that this is not a one day event, but includes activities (some up to a month in length) globally that are prepared for up to a year in advance.
They are right to stress that, as anyone who has ever had dealings with someone who has to deal with mental health knows, this illness doesn't fit into time frames either - or any categories!
It is not a sexy topic, and it certainly doesn't garner votes BUT its funny (in a weird way), but once you have dealings with mental health issues, either personally or vicariously its like you step through the looking-glass - and there are so many "regular" people you know on that side as well. In the six-degree view of the world, it generally only requires 1 degree of separation for anyone to be connected to a mentally heightened/enlightened or frightened friend or even family member (possibly themselves).
This year's theme is 2007 - Mental Health in a Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity. I did go to the PDF to check out some of the minutae, but I was not quite up to the 51 pages!
My (black) humour take is wondering whether one Eastern European conglomerate will have their own section - I personally think that citizenship to this former country gives people a headstart in mental health issues! Very un-PC of me, yes - but I base it on personal observations.
I know there are no easy fixes or solutions to a lot of mental health challenges - but I think that people opening up and accepting that it is not an issue of "fault" or "blame", it is not something to be swept under the carpet, it is something that can come with stress, grief, fear or just life and that there are issues of justice, love, medication and faith that need to be examined.
Apparently the Queensland Mental Health Association have deemed today should be a "Stress-Less" Day - I am all for that!