Purple Butterfly Soup For The Soul

Dear purple butterflies,

October 8th is National Depression Screening Day. October 10th marks World Mental Health Day, an international day for the world to comprehend “mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.” I don’t have to explain to anyone how important it is for everyone to stand united in supporting each other. I truly feel the more awareness that’s spread about world mental health, the brighter our future will be. Even if you’ve never been depressed, someone close to you have experienced it without you knowing about it. One thing you should know about depression is that it’s not a topic not easily spoken about. I think it is why mental health should be taken so seriously and not ignored. I know when I feel down, I have trouble expressing how I am feeling. There are moments I don’t understand why I am depressed. Finally, I am going through situations where I don’t realize I am down until much later into my depression. Occasionally, I have dark moods. I am not alone but I hate those times. I fight the feeling as much as I can. Is my Fibromyalgia a good reason for all of this? Yes, it is. That is why I am blessed to be in a group where I have friends who are going through the same thing. We are there for each other, and can talk it out if need be. If you are depressed, or need to talk to someone, please seek help! Note: I am not a physician, but I have looked up some phone numbers for references. Here is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) and numbers for overseas List of Suicide Crisis Lines.

It’s Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter who we can all thank for World Mental Health Day beginning in 1992. It actually wasn’t until 1994 that the organization had a set theme. The theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” The idea of this new awareness day caught on like wildfire. See the list at the bottom of my blog for the full list of themes throughout the years. So many countries became involved, arranging events, and within three years individuals were committed to the day arranging programs for metal heath care.

Purple butterflies especially need to be aware of any signs of depression. Why should we worry about depression at all? Here are some facts from National Depression Screening Day:

Why Screen For Depression?

  • Clinical depression is a serious medical illness.

  • Clinical depression can lead to suicide.

  • Sometimes people with depression mistakenly believe that the symptoms of depression are a "normal part of life."

  • Clinical depression affects men and women of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups.

  • Only about a third (35.3%) of those suffering from severe depression seek treatment from a mental health professional. 

  • Depression can co-occur and complicate other medical conditions.

  • Screenings are often the first step in getting help.

Who Should Get Screened?

People suffering from depression often experience some of these key symptoms:

  • A persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood

  • Sleeping too little, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed

  • Restlessness or irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

The National Screening Day is a United Stated awareness day, still I strongly believe we all should observe it. Having to be quarantined away from friends and family doesn’t help at all. I have always had luck talking to friends and family. In the past I’ve even gone to church and spoken to a priest for guidance. It’s helped me so much. I realize that we are all different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Check out the ways we all can get involved for World Mental Health Day:

A. Do group work therapy in the workplace: Now because some of us are working from home, maybe we could do a zoom call to check in on each other during the day. Don’t just limit checking in on your co-workers, call on your loved ones as well!

B. Practice self-care! This should be something you try to do as much as you can. For fellow purple butterflies, it is difficult maintaining a routine as we never know day to day how we are going to feel. I rest when I need to. I exercise and I eat as healthy as I can. I set alarms on my phone for my medicine, and when I should head to bed. I got the best sleep of my life a couple a nights ago. Most nights I am lucky to have five hours of rest at best.

C. Follow the theme: Most years have had themes. However, for the first time, World Health Organization will host a global online advocacy event on mental health.

The Big Event For Mental Health on Saturday, October 10th, will start 10:00 New York,16:00 Geneva, and 19:30 New Delhi. Where can you find the event? You can find it on your favorite social media channel: FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube and TikTok.

What will be happening during the event?

  • learn how W.H.O., together with our partners, is helping improve the mental health of people in countries throughout the world;

  • hear from national and international leaders about why they are making mental health a priority;

  • hear first-hand why internationally renowned artists have become mental health advocates and listen to their advice for those who are struggling; and

  • listen to critically acclaimed musicians perform some of their most popular music.

Listing of past World Mental Health Day themes:

I would encourage everyone to mark this date in their calendars. Do you think you’ll watch the event? I will be marking the date down in my cell, so I don’t forget! Make sure you spread the word to all your friends and family!

Please continue to stay safe purple butterflies! Till next time! Be well!

~ Rachel

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Other references:

World Mental Health Day Sat. Oct. 10

World Mental Health Day 2020

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day History

National Depression Screening Day

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