Let's Talk About Mental Health
By Minal Mahtani, Founder & CEO of OCD & Anxiety Support HK
The unexpected outbreak of Covid-19 this year has dramatically impacted the lives of everyone in Hong Kong and has increased the risk of persons developing symptoms of mental illness. The prevalence rates of depression (19.8% vs 10.7%) and anxiety (14.0% vs 4.1%) have significantly worsened in the presence of the pandemic in year 2020. With greater restrictions in all areas of daily life , working from home for employees, online schooling for children, uncertainty about the future, anxiety about contracting Covid-19, less freedom to travel, more isolation and quarantine fatigue - to name just a few symptoms - the need to address the mental health concerns of the greater community has never felt more urgent.
In light of the deterioration of mental health across the city, OCDAHK has decided to take action to assist suffers during this challenging time in October 2020- World Mental Health Month.
This year we launched a new initiative called the Kindness Campaign (1-19 October) to promote positivity amongst the community, to make individuals feel appreciated and valued, leading to them feeling happier and boosting overall wellbeing. When we ‘feel good’ our brains release the happy chemicals, Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins, also known as DOSE. Kindness is contagious and when we show kindness to others, both the giver and receiver feel a sense of connection and purpose. To participate in the kindness campaign, please write a message on a post it or on social media to a friend, loved one, classmate or colleague and give them a compliment, hope, words of praise and kindness.. Remember to tag us please on Facebook @ocdanxietyhk and/or instagram #ocdahk. Please refer to the infographic below to learn more about the campaign.
On Saturday 10th October, it is World Mental Health Day, and I would like to invite you to participate in OCDAHK’s signature Green Ribbon Campaign. Every year, our OCDAHK team and trusted volunteers distribute green ribbons to the public around HK to show our support to mental health sufferers, to give their real but invisible illness a presence and a voice. Due to Covid-19 in our midst, we are not able to be on the streets this year, however we have kept this campaign alive by the kind support of corporates, NGO’s, health clinics and retail outlets who are wearing green ribbons and collecting donations on our behalf on and leading up to World Mental Health Day. Green is the colour that represents mental illness and wearing it shows our support, non-judgement, hope and compassion for those struggling with mental health disorders.
This year, instead of a green ribbon, you can show your solidarity and support to sufferers by wearing a touch of green clothing and sharing it on social media. This act alone will show sufferers that they are not alone on this journey to recovery. Please take a photo of yourself wearing green and tag us on Facebook @ocdanxietyhk and/or instagram #ocdahk. Your support means so much to OCDAHK and the mental health community.
OCDAHK has organized a range of events during October for the community to partake in to reduce stress and anxiety . There is an art therapy and yoga class as well as support group meeting for adults and teenagers who suffer from OCD, Anxiety and Depression. Art therapy is a creative outlet to express your emotions through colour and yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body. The support group meetings provide a safe space for teenagers and adults to share their struggles and learn coping skills in a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment. Find out more by emailing us at email@example.com and from the posters attached.
OCDAHK believes in the importance of mental health education so our community can learn how to identify symptoms of the most common mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Early identification increases the efficacy of treatment leading to recovery. Mental health education allows us to realise that we all have mental health and having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and requires the same level of respect, support and understanding as a physical illness. When we are educated about mental health disorders, it helps to eliminate stigma and misconceptions about them which are hurtful to sufferers and prevent them from seeking treatment.
So what would be the top 4 mental health books that I would recommend you to read and buy from Bookazine:
This October, Bookazine is teaming up with OCDAHK to help them support individuals and their families affected with mental health. 10% of the proceeds of the online sales of selected mental health books for all ages will be donated to OCDAHK and you can make donations to this charity at our Prince’s Building, ifc and Lyndhurst Terrace shops where donation boxes are available.
Click here to view the mental health book list curated by Bookazine.