We go to the doctor for check-ups, we have a regular morphology test to make sure that everything is okay, but we often forget about our mental health. Nowadays we live in a constant state of flux, we devote most of our time to work and less and less of it is devoted to effective rest. Mental disorders among the younger generations are becoming increasingly serious, and sufferers often die prematurely from normally avoidable physical illnesses. Despite progress in some countries, people with mental disorders still often experience discrimination and stigmatisation. In the last decade there has been a 13 per cent increase in mental illness and disorders - depression and anxiety disorders being among the most common.
The 'Mental Health Awareness Week' events were held from 10-15 January. The presenters were professors and students of Łódź universities, including the Medical University and the University of Łódź. The event was conducted remotely in English and was aimed both at people doing their Erasmus exchange in Poland and at all residents of Łódź and other cities.
Mental Health Awareness Week aims to spread awareness and normalise mental health care. Participants of the event had the opportunity to learn more about how they can take care of themselves in various aspects of their well-being and not lose control over it. The presenters presented issues related to our psyche in a light and accessible way, so that everyone could easily understand why mental health is important, and how easy it can be to take care of it on a daily basis. The important message conveyed is that mental health disorders do not make us inferior, nor do they have to mean severe illness in everyone, but can manifest themselves through the details of our everyday lives.
An important aspect of the self-care that is so popular today, which is exactly taking care of one's own well-being, is also reaching out for help when we need it. Apart from how uncommon it is to access it, this is unfortunately a source of shame for many, felt as showing weakness. At Mental Health Awareness Week we spoke about where to get this help and why you shouldn't be afraid to ask for it. There were also workshops on self-care, mindfulness and meditation for people who wanted to learn how to look after their own wellbeing or practice stopping, being here and now. The use of art in therapy, the impact of diet on our mental health, and managing ourselves in time were also covered.
The event was organised by ESN-EYE members in cooperation with the Academic Trust Centre of the Technical University of Łódź, the Office for Disabled Persons of the Technical University of Łódź, and the Polish Association of Psychology Students and Graduates. The event was also supported by the IFE, the Medical University of Lodz, the Young in Lodz website and Barry Callebaut. We would like to thank all the partners thanks to whom we were able to organise Mental Health AW.