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Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day

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“We know that mental illness is not something that happens to other people. It touches us all. Why then is mental illness met with so much misunderstanding and fear?” Tipper Gore

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day - Impacts Us All

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day – Impacts Us All

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed on 10 October, covers “psychological first aid” (PFA). Efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers. World Health Organization
Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with. Adam Ant
Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table. It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness. Louise Hart

Did you know that today is World Mental Health Day and Columbus Day? While the jury might still be out on whether Columbus discovered the Americas, what is certain is that Mental Health issues affect us all; even though, it remains a subject that some would like to sweep under the table or wish away by shaming those who live with it. According to the CDC, mental illness can be described as “collectively all diagnosable mental disorders” or “health conditions that are characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.”2 Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26% of the U.S. adult population.3...” On any given day, we, our friends, and any of our loved ones are at risk of facing an emotional, psychological or social stressor that could impact our mental health, our overall feeling of well-being,  and push us to the brink. How those around us handle the episode can make a difference between life and death.

Are you prepared to offer compassionate support? As we all strive to maintain some form of equanimity or balance in our lives, and the lives of our friends and family, we need to be attentive to shifts in mood and behavior. If we make a concerted effort to check in regularly with our loved ones, it will be easier to recognize when a family member or friend has crossed that delicate balance and is in need therapeutic and psychological support. If you’ve ever lived with someone with mental illness, you’d know that a lot of thoughtful care and consideration must be exercised to get them the help and critical attention they need. When they are going through a down period, we must step in and advocate for them and there is nothing shameful about it.  The real shame is in the stigma that uninformed people attach to it.

“Mental health is often missing from public health debates even though it’s critical to well-being.”  Diane Abbott

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day - Impacts Us All

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day – Impacts Us All

What is PFA? – Pragmatic Tools
Humane, supportive & practical assistance to fellow human beings who recently suffered a serious stressor:
•Non-intrusive, practical care and support
•Assessing needs and concerns
•Helping people to address basic needs (food, water)
•Listening, but not pressuring people to talk
•Comforting people and helping them to feel calm
•Helping people connect to information, services and social supports
•Protecting people from further harm via WHO/PFA
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all. Bill Clinton

How would you handle a mental health crisis for a loved one? Whether we are directly or indirectly affected by mental illness, it is imperative that we spend time reflecting on how we can help in an honest and meaningful way. One thing that is clear is  while approaches to handling mental health situations vary, addressing the complex issues around it with sensitivity is key because each of us come to the subject from different backgrounds and experiences.  It’s a delicate topic that affects millions of households and we can’t address it by offering a cute picture or a bold statement as a panacea for a condition that impacts so many, many lives. Over the years, I have lost people close to me to this crisis, and when I think about their pain and suffering, and the lingering sense of loss felt by those left behind, I know that we must do more.  All I ask is that we take a moment each day to remember that the face of mental illness is all of our faces,  It is you, you, and me because we know people close to us or others in our community who struggle with this disease.  By the same token, we are affected through our interactions  by the fallout and the daily challenges that those who struggle with mental illness face.

What about Psychological First Aid?  The World Health Organization has recommended that in addition to recognizing the theme for 2016 which is: Psychological First Aid “psychological first aid” (PFA). Each of us can offer support by employing the pragmatic tools listed above and in the pdf as a way to assist those in a mental health crisis. As fellow citizens, we can play a pivotal role by offering a calm hand and immediate comfort to someone in a mental health crisis while reaching out to professionals who are qualified to assist them. There are no easy solutions on how we can/must deal with mental health issues, however, shaming, blaming or escalating the situation for the individual is the wrong path to take. Even if you don’t agree with the many therapeutic options available to people with mental health issues, it is not for us to decide for them. Our role should be supportive, to look out for the well-being of the individual, and to focus on serving in a helping capacity until professional/medical assistance arrives.


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for August  and September 2016 are:

09/05 –   Labor Day,  International Day of Charity,  8 International Literacy Day,
09/12 –  15 Day of Democracy Day,  17 Constitution Day
09/19 –  21 International Day of Peace/ World Peace Day, World Rhino Day
09/26 – National Preparedness Month, National Childhood Cancer Awareness, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, National School Success Month, National Childhood Obesity Awareness

10/03 –  2-4 Rosh Hashana,  6 German-American Day,
10/10 –  10  Columbus Day, World Mental Health Day, 11 International Day of the Girl,  12 Yom Kippur
10/17 –   16 World Food Day / FAO World Food Day
10/24 –  24 United Nations Day,  28 National Chocolate Day, 29 National Cat Day, 30 Diwali
10/31 —  31 Halloween


Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.




— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!
“The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves.”  Matthew Quick

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day - Impacts Us All

Motivation Mondays: World Mental Health Day – Impacts Us All

A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control. Robert Foster Bennett
We need so much more openness, transparency and understanding that it’s OK to talk about depression as an illness. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a shortcoming. It’s not something people brought on themselves. John F. Greden MD
Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list. Michelle Obama


What more can we do on World Mental Health DayWe can start by educating ourselves on the subject of mental health and mental illness, and learn more about the clinical definitions and diagnosis of the illness. We can help by resisting the temptation to paint a broad and sweeping picture of what it means and how it ought to be handled. Each case needs professional evaluation and specific treatment geared to the individual. Our role is to support and lift the lid of shame, to work at ensuring we provide a positive environment that nourishes the overall well-being of our family/friends, and to lift the stigma of mental illness that makes this a very painful issue. Mental illness can have a lasting impact on all of us/our loved ones so, making the effort to find adequate care is very important.  What are your thoughts?

Have a healthy week ahead!


Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: Mental health issues impact us all. Offer a helping and understanding hand

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS:All Photos –  mental health via Wikipedia, and/or mental health  via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive.
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet






81 Comments leave one →
  1. chei permalink
    10/10/2016 4:52 pm

    Yes we all need to develop a better understanding of mental illness and face our fears.

  2. jaycer123 permalink
    10/10/2016 5:09 pm

    It’s such a great thing to have people support one another through a tough time – this post is wonderful. Thank you

  3. swangrl77 permalink
    10/10/2016 5:23 pm

    Beautiful article. FYI… not just Columbus Day any more. Here in most cities Washington state it is now Indigenous People’s Day and throughout the country more cities are transitioning to Indigenous Peoples Day. However, as a nurse I see how mental health patients literally get thrown away. It’s sad… so I truly appreciated this article. 😊 thank you!

    • 11/10/2016 1:11 am

      Thank you for your reply and for your insider view on the subject of mental health… we all can do better to help spread the word. <3 As for Indigenous People's Day, it makes perfect sense as the right title for the celebration.

  4. The Awkward Vegan permalink
    10/10/2016 6:03 pm

    Thank you for writing about an issue as important as mental health. We all need to work to break the stigma!!

    • 10/10/2016 6:08 pm

      Thank you for taking a moment to consider the topic on this important day. Sadly, some people prefer to remain clueless about a subject that affects all of us in someway. Changing the topic or ignoring it doesn’t change the facts; when people respond that way, they are just perpetuating the stigma about a critical and life long disease. Thank you for your thoughtful response. We need to break the stigma! 🙁

  5. Ricci permalink
    10/10/2016 7:24 pm

    Mental Health has such a stigma surrounding it and I am glad it is slowly going away!! Great post!!

  6. momknowsbest15 permalink
    10/10/2016 9:03 pm

    I grew up with several family members who had mental illness. So I would seek help for a friend going through this

  7. Melanie Smith permalink
    10/10/2016 9:22 pm

    What an incredible post is this one. Thank you for writing it!

  8. Cindy Ingalls permalink
    10/10/2016 9:31 pm

    I truly hope that someday people realize that mental illness is not a weakness or a joke. It is a daily struggle for those that battle it. Having a post like this and a day to recognize mental illness is a great way to spread the understanding.

    • 10/10/2016 11:50 pm

      I’m with you Cindy. It never ceases to amaze me when people are so cavalier in their response to such a critical issue… Whether we are aware of it or not, mental health issues impact all of our lives in some fashion.

  9. Valerie Gray (@valmg) permalink
    10/10/2016 9:52 pm

    There are so many different forms of mental illness. One day we will live in a society where help is readily available to all that need it.

  10. 10/10/2016 10:57 pm

    Something like PFA should be taught in every high school.

  11. Holly permalink
    10/10/2016 11:20 pm

    Mental health is such an important issue. More people need to be educated on the topic.

  12. Michele permalink
    10/10/2016 11:21 pm

    I was not aware that there even was a Mental Health day–I am very glad to hear there is. Too many people have problems and really are shunned because of it–when instead they should be gently directed to get the help they desperately need to live a full and happy life.

    • 10/10/2016 11:43 pm

      Indeed. The more all of us learn to be supportive and proactive in encouraging folks around us to seek professional care, the sooner we will experience a reduction in cases that end tragically.

  13. annelicious permalink
    10/10/2016 11:23 pm

    I have suffered from a brief separation anxiety following my parent’s break up when I was 7 years old. Looking back, I feel lucky to have snapped out of it. The experience was more frightening after I knew what exactly happened to me. Also after worked as a student nurse in the Mental facility here, that I realize most people don’t get back to normal like I did.

    Back then I only experience being spaced out 100% of the time I was in school, I would see people around me, my teachers and classmates but I cant seem to hear them. I was snapped out of it after I was transferred to another school a year after. The new school was noisy being coed and all, so the effect on me was scary, because I went home still hearing the voices of the kids in school, when I shut my eyes and cover my ears with my pillow, I’d see the faces of my classmates. I tried to tell my family but when my grandma smirked and told me I’m just imagining things,

    I knew I had to be strong and battle it on my own. So I did by gradually forcing myself to interact, and thank God, it wasn’t long before I finally became normal again. Mental illness whether temporary or clinical should be a big concern to all. We all are susceptible and it’s only a matter of intensity that a single ugly experience could cause us to be mentally unwell for a while or for good. Fortunately for me it only lasted a few months.

    • 10/10/2016 11:42 pm

      Indeed. It is experienced in so many different ways that we can never use one person’s experience as a treatment for another person. I’m grateful for you that you found a path out of the depression…

  14. The Guat permalink
    10/10/2016 11:27 pm

    Definitely thank you for sharing this, I had no idea it was World Mental Health Day. It is definitely a topic that some people dismiss or don’t like talking about it. Thanks for posting it. I’ll be sure to spread the word as well.

    • 10/10/2016 11:39 pm

      Thank you dear one. It is a subject dear to my heart; especially as I’ve seen the impact it has had on families and how talking about it remains a stigma in some quarters. Glad to hear from you… it’s been a while. <3

  15. DrKLeeBanks permalink
    20/09/2017 5:58 pm

    I know this is an older post, but it caught my attention, because I’ve just been blogging about it myself NOW, in November 2017! Our mental health should be a high priority for us and we deserve to take care of ourselves first of all, FOR ourselves, and then for the sake of our loved ones.


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