World Mental Health Day: It’s okay to not be okay

Today marks a special cause and need for awareness

By Paula-Ann Smit

World Mental Health Day: It’s okay to not be okay

Mental health

2020 and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been tough. Our lives have changed drastically, many have lost loved ones, companies have had to let people go, and the overall state of the world is reason enough to be mentally drained.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, we are reminded of the importance of taking good care of our mental health.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is expected that the need for mental health and psychosocial support will substantially increase in the coming months and years due to the impact of Covid-19.

“The need for investment in mental health programmes at international levels, which have already suffered from years of chronic underfunding, is now more important than it has ever been,” says WHO.

Here are a few tips by WHO on coping with stress during the pandemic:

1. It’s okay to not be okay

It’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talk to people you can trust to help.

2. Take care of your physical health

If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, sleep, exercise and social contact with loved ones at home via email or phone calls.

3. Don’t abuse drugs or alcohol

Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counsellor. Seek help for physical and mental health if required.

4. Limit media intake

Get the correct Covid-19 facts and tips from reputable sources such as WHO and limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you and your family spend watching or reading media coverage that you perceive as upsetting.

5. Make time to unwind

Try to make time for the activities that you enjoy, or find a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try.

Need help?

Contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group:
• Councillors are available between 8am – 8pm from Monday to Sunday on
011 234 4837
• For a suicidal emergency contact them on 0800 567 567
• 24-hour helpline: 0800 456 789

Click here for more.