Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority
So World Mental Health Day is upon us again and the theme set by the ‘World Federation for Mental Health’, this year is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’. The central thrust of this theme is to do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – both as individuals and as a society.
There is also an emphasis on calling national and local governments to prioritise reducing the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health, enhancing those known to protect it and creating the conditions needed for people to thrive.
Helping the workforce to stay mentally fit
In line with this, the ‘World Health Organisation’, have issued new guidelines to help employers support struggling staff. This includes providing workers with the opportunities to access psychosocial interventions that aim to build workers’ skills in stress management. Examples of the kind of approaches being considered to achieve this goal include mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and training in self care. Opportunities to engage in physical exercise in the form of strength training, aerobic exercise and yoga are further being recommended as important and well recognised activities that have a positive impact on mental health.
Khody Damestani, Co-founder of mental fitness company, MyMindPal, supports these recommendations: ‘It is encouraging to see such an important emphasis on making mental health a priority for all. Within our app, we include not only cognitive behavioural exercises and mindfulness but also exercises that calm the nervous system directly such as box breathing and progressive muscular relaxation. This is important as the nervous system itself is responsible for initiating the ‘stress response’. Teaching and supporting individuals in the adoption and maintenance of a mental fitness habit can go a long way in helping them to protect their mental health’.