CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sunday, Oct. 10 marks World Mental Health Day. Started in 1992, it is an international day that focuses on global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, of Piedmont Tri-County held a vigil in Rock Hill for those living with mental health conditions, as well as those who have lost their life.
“It’s very isolating, very lonely, you’re sometimes in a very dark place," said Betsey O'Brien, the Executive Director of NAMI Piedmont Tri-County, "Go to people who’ve been through it. They might be able to shortcut you through some care and support.”
According to the World Health Organization, "Mental health should be seen as a valued source of human capital or well-being in society. It contributes to individual and population health, happiness and welfare, enables social interaction, cohesion and security, and feeds national output and labour force productivity. We need good mental health to succeed in all areas of life."
According to NAMI, more than half of Americans have said that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health.
Amanda Matthews, the Director of Psychology for Monarch NC, said it's important to check on yourself and those around you.
“Do I feel like myself? Or have I felt off? When's the last time I felt like myself? If the answer to that is, 'Gosh, it's been a good week or two', it may be good to talk to a professional,” said Matthews.
There is hope for those affected by the mental health epidemic. Remember, you are not alone. The CDC provides numerous on how you can take care of your mental health for those who need it most:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat
- Psychologist Locator, a service of the American Psychological Association (APA) Practice Organization.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder, a research tool by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
- Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, a search tool by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
- If you need help finding treatment facilities, visit MentalHealth.gov.
If you or a loved one are facing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help readily available. You can call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or chat with them online. There are also resources in North Carolina available here and in South Carolina available here.