Healing the world, one person at a time

Healing the World, One Person at a Time: Things You Can Do to Celebrate World Mental Health Day

Authored by the Synapse Team.

This blog post contains content that covers mental health and wellness topics. We are not medical professionals, so please always seek the advice or care from a mental health or health care professional to find out how this topic may or may not apply to your unique situation or overall health.

World Mental Health Day is October 10. Here are some ideas for how you can actively help:
  • Change usually begins with ourselves, so try taking a mental health screening online. While this is not a substitute for visiting your doctor, it will provide a snapshot of your current mental health. Mental Health America notes, “If your results indicate you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, consider sharing your results with someone. A mental health provider (such as a doctor or a therapist) can give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better.”
  • Get trained on how to be there for someone who is going through a mental health crisis. The Born this Way Foundation and Jack.org. If you complete the training and are between the ages of 13-24 you may bring in your certificate to a participating Pima County Public Library and get a $40 Visa Gift Card. Follow this link for more information.
  • Reach out to a friend. We need our friends and our friends need us. Right now so many people could do with a phone call, a coffee, an encouraging text or to share a meal. Getting enough socialization is so important to maintain good mental health and it’s nice to get in touch with a friend to see how things are going. Even if all you say or write is, “I just want you to know that I am here for you and I’m so glad we are friends.” that is a wonderful thing to do on World Mental Health Day!
  • If you think that a loved one is struggling with their mental health then it’s time to start the conversation about getting them help. This can be a hard conversation to have, so try reading this article and this one before getting started. You can do hard things! We believe in you!
  • Give someone a gift. All you really need to give is a smile or a genuine compliment to make the world a brighter, better place. The gift of your presence, your time, and your attention is the best gift you have to give. Of course, surprise gifts are fun, too! Surprise a friend or yourself with a little something!
  • Be yourself. You are absolutely wonderful and, as author/artist SARK says, you are wonderFULL! There’s no one like you! Let go of comparison and harsh self judgement and see how much happier you feel. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  • Get enough sleep. “Oh, yeah? How do I do that?” We can almost hear you say that, and so here’s some tips from the Mayo Clinic (you're welcome!).
  • Practice Mindfulness. Some members of the Synapse Team practice yoga, meditation, autogeneic training, and tai chi—the ultimate goal being to take 20 minutes or so to try to calm and reunite your body and mind. You will feel so much more calm and relaxed. Sometimes meditation apps can help you begin a practice, so feel free to check out the free meditation apps recommended in this Real Simple article and dip your toes in! There’s also an app offered by the Plum Village community of the late Thich Nhat Hahn.  
  • Are you a fan of Podcasts? Here’s a list of recommendations of podcasts about mental health so you can get listening!
  • Take a break. Seriously, it’s really good for your mental health!
  • Share your mental health story with the public through one of NAMI’s nationwide initiatives
  • Donate to charities such as NAMI, Jed Foundation, Trevor Project, Active Minds, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, NEDA, WHO, and To Write Love on Her Arms.
  • Complete training to become a crisis line attendant.
  • Speak openly about your experiences with mental health and wellness so as to fight the stigma around “admitting to” or talking about such challenges.
  • Register for a NAMI walk, or other similar event and encourage friends and family to join you.
  • Follow reputable mental health organizations on social media and re-share important information to your followers/friends.
Get help:
  • Ready to connect with a mental health professional? Visit the You Are Not Alone, Pima County Health Department to be connected with COPE Community Services.
  • In a crisis? Text HOME to 741741. Need further support? Call (520) 622-6000 to be connected to the Crisis Response Network.
  • Suicide Hotline: dial 988 to be connected immediately to someone who can provide free, confidential support 24/7.
  • The Trevor Project provides 24/7 support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Call 1-866-488-7386 or text “Start” to 678-678 to be connected to a counselor.