Mental health care is a branch of healthcare that focuses on addressing mental stress and disorders. It is not just about how you feel, but it is also about how you think and behave. Mental health is an important part of our well-being. But it’s not something we often think about or take care of. In today’s world, we are so focused on our careers, education, and other things that we tend to overlook our own mental wellness. And in this digital age where everyone is constantly connected with their devices and social media sites, it becomes more challenging to maintain a healthy mind.
Mental health is a broad term used to describe the state of someone’s psychological well-being. It includes their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. An individual is said to have good mental health if they are able to manage stressors effectively, have confidence in themselves and their abilities, and have the ability to cope with the ups and downs of life without falling into depression or despair.
It has been observed that people with a healthy mental state tend to be happier, optimistic, confident and stable in their relationships with others. On the contrary, people having a poor mental health may face social isolation or even suicidal tendencies.
What is Mental Health Care?
Mental health care, broadly defined, refers to the treatment and management of mental health disorders, as well as the promotion and enhancement of mental wellness. Mental health care is an essential part of overall health care, and is relevant to all ages, genders, incomes, ethnicities, locations, occupations, and civil statuses. Mental health care can be provided in a variety of settings. These settings range from inpatient hospitals to outpatient clinics, community health centres, and schools and workplaces. In this regard, art psychotherapy plays an important role in managing mental health disorders and enhancing overall mental well-being.
Mental health care is a crucial aspect of primary care which is a long term commitment that can be preventive and proactive in nature. For short term and for almost immediate effects such as release or containment of overwhelming emotions, art as therapy can be helpful. Check out our Tik tok and Instagram pages for such art as therapy techniques.
Despite its importance, there are some common challenges in improving our mental wellness. These include the stigma surrounding mental health care, the lack of social support, and financial constraints.
Types of Mental Disorders
These are some common mental disorders that some amongst us may be coping with:
1. Depression – Depression is a mental health condition that causes extreme feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in everyday activities.
2. Anxiety Disorders – Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health concerns and include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias.
3. Cognitive Disorders – Cognitive disorders are mental illnesses that affect the brain’s cognitive functions, or abilities related to thinking, remembering, and processing information.
4. Addiction – Addiction involve over usage of substances or engagement in activities with the intention of altering mood or consciousness that results in a negative impact
5. Eating Disorders – Eating disorders are mental illnesses that involve unhealthy and uncontrollable patterns of eating.
6. Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.
7. Bipolar Disorder – Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder that causes extreme shifts in a person’s mood and energy level. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness.
How to Stay Mentally Healthy?
There are a few important things you can do to stay mentally healthy.
Generally, many often encourage to get plenty of exercise, fresh air, healthy food and sleep. These are possible and helpful when you are well enough to engage in such activities. Sometimes, even while engaging in such activities routinely, it may still not be sufficient in managing an overwhelming emotions during an unexpected situation. So here are some ways you could manage your emotions or struggles when faced with a difficult which can potentially affect your regular sleep patterns, exercise routines and activities. These activities can be your go-to steps on a regular basis whenever faced with any kinds of challenges that starts to affect your mental well-being.
1. Keep a book for visual journal. Visual journaling can be the first and quick step to containing and assessing how you are feeling in a situation be it good or bad. You can use words, images, colours and even simple lines and scribbles to externalise how you feel. You may choose to write down a quick reflection, title and the date for your future reference.
2. Increase self-awareness. This can be done through reflection after at the end of the day or after an experience. To understand the emotions felt and the root cause of it. Having such self-awareness helps to break unhealthy coping methods or behaviours and improve interpersonal relationships. Self-awareness can be improved through a regular art activity.
3. Take active steps to have an improved interpersonal relationship with the people around. Interpersonal relationship to interactions between two parties. This could between you and your colleagues, family, friends and strangers. In our daily lives, we have many such interactions that brings us varied emotions such as joy, hurt, jealous and so on. Hence, observing and understanding your behaviours and responses helps to prevent displeasures and improve your mental well-being
4. Setting healthy boundaries. This is especially difficult amongst the Asian population where culturally we are brought up in a way that impedes in setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are not just for workplace environment, it is also for your friend and loved ones to prioritise your mental well-being. It is alright to say no to some projects or skip some social gatherings on some days when you are overwhelmed. However, how you set boundaries are crucial. Being gentle, polite and respectful is key when setting such boundaries.
Finally, do not be afraid to reach out and seek therapy if you need it. While our friends and family can provide a listening ear, they may not be well-equipped to help us address the difficulties or disorders that we are experiencing. Their potential lack of objectivity may be an impediment as well. On the other hand, the certified art therapists at Solace Art Psychotherapy are well-trained, registered and have experience dealing with a wide variety of clients and difficulties. They will provide a safe space for your healing journey.
Mental health is a crucial aspect of our well-being, yet it is often overlooked. There are several reasons why it’s important to take care of your mental health – to stay happy, to improve your relationships, to get more out of life, and to be able to deal with any challenges that come your way. There are a few important things you can do to stay mentally healthy, such as engaging in visual journaling, increasing your self awareness, improving your interpersonal relationship, setting healthy boundaries and seeking therapy. Furthermore, make sure to get therapy if you feel like you need extra help. Finally, don’t forget that you are worthy of taking care of your mental health. At Solace Art Psychotherapy, we offer trauma-informed art psychotherapy services to youths and adults dealing with complex trauma.