Supporting dignity on World Mental Health Day 2015

On World Mental Health Day 2015, Sidra Research and Medical Center supports this year’s theme of dignity for those who live with mental health problems to not face discrimination or stigma. Members of our senior leadership team are involved locally in Qatar in developing the National Mental health Strategy and place a great importance on making lives better for those who suffer from mental health crises.

Those experiencing mental health issues can lack confidence and esteem so it is important to that we treat people with respect and reach out when our family, friends or colleagues are going through a difficult time.

Kimberly Harris, Manager of Social Work and Case Management and a trained counsellor at Sidra talks about the importance of looking after your mental health. Just as physical and spiritual exercise require daily energy and exertion so does good mental health.

Good practice can be mindfulness and writing and reflecting on your feelings in a journal. It is important to create a quiet and comfortable space for yourself and go there daily, even if you just start with five or ten minutes. Equip your space with favorite smells from candles, incense or flowers and enjoy the fragrance and peace in your space.

While in your space, push away thoughts that are of the past or future to focus on the present moment. Explore what is going on with your body and feel any pain or tension. Listen to your breath and slow it to an even pace. Hear the sounds around you, choose one and hone in on that sound.

As with physical exercise, mental exercise is hard at first and will become easier with practice. Start slow, add time each session, and take the inner calm you experience with you throughout your day. Practicing good mental health will bring balance to the whole mind, body and spirit.

Good mental health requires as much exercise and energy as working the physical body or practicing spiritual enlightenment. It is the ability to look inward, separate stress into that which can be controlled and that which is part of a bigger system outside our sphere of control. You can evaluate relationships and disengage from those that bring negativity and imbalance.

The mind is often neglected when taking care of ourselves so remember these small tips to keep you and others in good mental health. It is crucial to reach out to others for help when you need it. The more mental health is discussed; more people will be able to live with dignity. #WorldMentalHealthDay