The past months have brought many challenges for any age. Whether it's distance learning, working from home, or simply minimal contact with our coworkers, friends, and family all of these obstacles can put a toll on our mental health.
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1 billion people are living with a mental health disorder and the number is growing during the pandemic. This year, they've dedicated World Mental Health Day to this new reality.
"Now we see students being overwhelmed with tech issues or an overwhelming amount of work on the adult side we see the financial repercussions of COVID or maybe someone in their family battling COVID so there's a lot of uncertainty," explained Yessica Avancena, divisional CEO at Aspire Behavioral Health.
However, when speaking of mental health, professionals recommend identifying the difference between everyday struggles.
"We all know some days we have important things in our lives and our nerves go up. A test, a decision, a hard conversation, this is a normal part of life," continued Avancena.
And struggles that are simply taking over your life.
"The thing to look for is when something turns to a persistent kind of state or things start to affect other areas in your life maybe different things that werent a challenge before, now maybe they are."
World Mental Health Day is a day to help others reflect on their current mental state and seek help if necessary.
"Maybe someone with no preexisting mental health issues is having them now so it is something we need to talk about in the community and requires the stigma to be removed from it we need to be able to seek services without feeling shame," said Avancena.
During the pandemic, Aspire Behavioral Health launched a free program to address the growing local need for mental health services.
"We launched a special campaign for free assessments so anyone can call our number and be assessed by a mental health professional and be referred out for services, group or individual therapy, we can help them with that," continued Avancena.
For the first time in ever, the World Health Organization will hold a global online mental health advocacy event Saturday starting at 7 a.m. The event will feature speakers like Lady Gaga and mental health professionals on how to address mental health at a personal and global level.