The UWI Model United Nations hosted their Mental Health Week on March 21-24 with the theme Think Healthy. They believed “Mental health is in an integral part of our overall well-being but is not discussed enough in the public sphere. Recognising the importance of breaking the silence and increasing awareness, the UWI Model United Nations Club is playing its part through a Mental Health Week, March 21 – 24!! #ThinkHealthy”
The week started with their video campaign that had persons such as Chevion Morgan express his views on living with a mental illness, how it has affected him and how he has been coping since. Having him, someone who is considered the life of the party share his journey, was a step closer to what UWI MUN aspired to achieve as it showed that Mental Health affects everyone.
On Day 2, the day of the Twitter chat, where persons could be apart of the conversation by using the hashtag #ThinkHealthy and give their input. Using 7 questions, the answers for each proved that the phenomenon considered to be taboo further justified the importance of mediums like the Mental Health Week, helping to remove the stigma for persons living with the illness and their families faced.
Persons replied with:
The activities continued on Day 3, with a Yoga session where participants were given the opportunity to free their mind and body from all the tension they had before the exercise. The last which was the Symposium in Day 4, was informative as it was also emotional as persons shared their stories. Participants learnt on how they can deal with living with a mental illness, assist persons who they know who are living with these illnesses and how they can live on a day-to-day basis.
As a former Psychology student who has interacted with family, friends and strangers who are living with a mental illness, and trying to be healthy mentally. I believe that the UWI MUN achieved their goal of recognizing the importance of breaking the silence and increasing awareness in Mental Health. My eyes welled with tears when persons shared their views about their mental health, lines had been opened for persons to seek help if they were not sure where to go or too afraid to speak about their mental health.
Unless you’re in the situation you’ll never understand. Having this mindset can help us to respect the circumstances of others. I can only imagine what persons living with mental illnesses go through; it’s not only about the illnesses, it’s about your mental well being. What you think about when you wake up in the mornings, when someone tells you that you look nice but another person says you don’t. When your superior disregards your efforts when you know and there’s proof that you are working.
From my own experience; going through self esteem issues, the separation of my parents, being violated by my step-grandfather and the repercussions that followed. Life will always give you lemons, sometimes you get cerasse but when you are able to rise above the issues, accept what is happening and make life better gradually. You then begin receive that peace of mind.
The Optimist Creed
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
These promises are what I use as a term of reference and fellow Optimists can tell you that though we may face trails looking that this creed helps to make the day better. Being an Optimist goes a long way. Ever noticed how people’s behaviour change when you kill them with kindness?
Be patient, accepting of the changes that may occur in your life, have a strong support system, avoid negativity and smile.