‘Happy’ World Mental Health day!

Posted on October 10th, 2008 by Jim

Hi from Dubai flower smellers! Today is World Mental Health day – I admit I’d never heard of it – have you? It’s been GO!ng since 1992 and this year’s theme is ‘Advocacy for global mental health: scaling up services through citizen advocacy and action

 World Mental Health Day (WMHDAY) aims to provide information, personalised treatment and resources that would help people across the globe in recovering from all forms of mental illness and disorders. 

As I landed back in the U.A.E in the early hours, local rag 7 days (the one featured flowers back in May detailing colonic irrigation in the detox diaries) was being dropped off around the City with the grabbing headline of…….


‘UAE and world health experts warn of depression as financial crisis takes toll A Dubai-based psychiatrist has warned that the global financial crisis has led to mental health problems and even attempted suicides in the UAE. Dr Shujaat Nathani, who specialises in general psychiatry, told 7DAYS that people should take precautions with their spending in the current climate, to avoid problems such as depression resulting from money troubles….’ (Source – 7days, Dubai, U.A.E)

What can be done to help people in debt, in trouble and on the brink of suicide  - wherever they are in the world? There HAS to be an alternative, right?

38 Responses to “‘Happy’ World Mental Health day!”

  1. Blue Collar Goddess says:

    Oh dear. I have so many sarcastic come backs for this one I ought to be . . . slapped.
    I think the media should take some responsibility.

    And, let’s face it, if a corporation like AIG can afford to still throw parties for nearly half a million bucks for it’s best “performers” after getting bailed out of a huge financial mess — well, things aren’t all bad.

    Wait. Let me think about that.

    Okay, I’m not the one who should be slapped . . .

  2. Blue Collar Goddess says:

    Hey … wha happen’d to my comment?!

    • Urban Pagan says:

      I think people should put stuff in perspective

      the people fretting over losing money or posessions are not I feel suffering from depression- they are just self pitying because the wealth they define themselves by is getting taken away. if they put less emphasis on what they owned perhaps things would be different

      • UP~ I have a different view point because for some money and materialism becomes the basis for their self-worth and for some culturally their role for their family. So, if they don’t meet a certain standand their self-esteem lowers, then ensues depression. Many cultures the man views himself as the person to take care of his family financially, so for whatever reason if they are stuggling financially this happens. We recently had a father who had been out of work for four months and they were in a gated community, but having significant financial problems and his wife was working. He killed his wife, mother-in-law and three children who all lived in the home and then himself. He left a three documents a will and two suicide notes indicating that he was troubled that he was unable to provide and that he did not want the family to suffer the embarassment. To me that sounds like depression with psychosis.

        I agree with your statement; however, it is like an addiction. They have low self-esteem or some other underlying issue in which they respond to filling that void with “having more.” Then, I think that there are others that are just simply greedy!! But, no matter the reason for the materialism; there is a real loss if your standard of living changes which leads to depression. Then, I believe there are just people who like to complain. :-)

        Jim thank you for posting this article. This is supposed to be a big day in mental health, but how many people know about it? And, finances are such a big issue right now. It sounds like every country is issuing warnings about suicide due to the crisis. Unfortunately, depression is real when it comes to finances. I believe that people’s internal value systems are focused on unhelpful issues. But, even so the risk of suicide right now is high.

        • Jim says:

          A pleasure CC and excuse my ignorance for not even being aware of this day! Had you heard of this before – Oct 10th – World health?

        • Yes, I had heard about it and was going to do something on my blog. Somewhere there is a listing of the Mental Health awareness days for certain things. Last month, there was a World Suicide Awareness Day. Thing is that no one hears about it, except for those who already know its importance.

        • Sarah says:

          great CC..i have never heard of World Suicide Awareness Day..

          “psst..I have a secret that will no longer be a secret since you brought up this Suicide Awareness Day, I tried to suicide once before..”

        • Jim says:

          Are you serious Sarah?

          Feel free to share more here at flowers….it could help others.

        • Thank you for sharing that Sarah. Would you like to share more? I’ve had one attempt in my teens and can’t remember a time when I didn’t have thoughts of it or similar type of thoughts when I was really young. My first memory is being two and just not wanting to be around.” I still battle them daily throughout the day. It is getting better. Please share. I agree with Jim that it could help others…in fact, I’m sure it will. That would be a great topic for discussion and very healthy.

        • Sarah says:

          :-( ermm..ok..not once but twice..(very painful experience)

          First one was about four years ago, just came to the big city with no one to comfort me and I had been so tired with the job I had that time, frustrating and then no one to complain about..so one night I was supposed to sleep after I got home from work at 11pm but I was so depressed and I had a knife at the bedside and I took it and slit my own wrist..awfully painful but very relieving at the same time..weird but then I knew I should not had done that so I washed up and put on a few plasters..

          The second one was quite recent like a year ago when I was totally depressed, out of job and all sorts of other problems..and I was like crying and crying out loud in the bathroom when I saw dettol (antiseptic) and I actually drank dettol but it tasted so bad and I was choking almost like choking to death..then I realised I had done something terrible so I tried to gag and vomit..Surprisingly, I was ok after a while. I was going through a phase where I had no idea what to do with my life. Of course it was an experience that is not going to be repeated..

          *Not like everyday stories but these are my real life stories..I was problematic..

        • Sarah,

          Thank you for sharing something so painful and personal. I am so sorry that you felt so alone and hopeless that you resorted to attempting suicide. I’m glad that you did not succeed and are with us today. I do wonder if you have ever talked to anyone else or sought help. Given all the changes that you’ve been through and with your father, you could have a chronic low-grade depression called dysthymia which is quite common. From what you have shared, you have had your share of traumas. Talking with a professional for a short while might be very beneficial. I also wonder what type of supports that you have now if you were to ever feel that way again. (Just saying that it isn’t going to be repeated…in terms of feeling so hopeless doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen.) I am also trouble by your last sentence, “I was problematic.” You were not problematic…you were in pain. Sorry, if I sound lecturing, but I’ve had similar pain and know the benefits of professional help. I also maybe lecturing because I care about you and what happens to you. I don’t want the little hamster to get squashed by the problems of the day. Feel free to email me via my blog where I have a link for emailing me. I hope that there is not a problem which is something that a professional can help you sort by a visit or two, but if there is it would be nice for you to receive treatment while you are still young. Okay, mother hen will stop lecturing. How are you feeling after sharing something so personal. I often regret, discount, feel vulnerable or something else after doing what you did. I just want to make sure that you are in a good place with your sharing.

          I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts my whole life along with depression. I attempted an overdose of Tylenol when I was 15 and that did not go over very well. My mother and step-father were yelling at me in the emergency room about how stupid I was that the nurses ushered them out. We never spoke about it again. Back then, or for whatever reason I wasn’t hospitalized, but saw a therapist the next day and told him all the right things and one session after that I didn’t have to go back. He wasn’t a very good therapist because I was deeply depressed. When I told my current therapist about it I felt quite relieved afterward and understood.

          Much love and hugs,


        • Sorry, Sarah. Your story has inspired me to tell more of mine. I was depressed and suicidal anyway, but what prompted such action was that the day before the three of us were playing Monopoly and my step-father became angry at me and started screaming at me because I did not want to negotiate one of my properties. He sent me to my room and my mother came up the stairs yelling at me, swung open my door, pulled my pants and underwear down and started to spank me with a yard stick. They both always told me that I was stubborn and didn’t listen to them. I was humiliated and knew that there was know way that she could possibly think that I did something that bad, but when it came to my step-father she chose him over me. I was grounded for two months. At that point, I lost all hope that my mother would ever choose me over my step-father.

          Several months afterward, a couple of my friends spoke with my mother because they were concerned that I was suicidal. Her response is that I was okay and that I’ve always been dramatic and attention-seeking. The sad part is still now…she can’t handle it if I am not okay. She remains hostile, ignoring or shallow with me despite my efforts to go deeper…she just can’t do that.

          I don’t want you to use my story to discount your own pain. Pain is pain no matter how it is formed and needs attention no matter how small or big it seems. Your pain is just as important as my pain.

        • Jim says:

          Thanks for sharing this CC & Sarah.

          Not only is it humbling but very inspirational – such a big leap to tip-tap away at this sort of topic particularly as we haven’t even met.

          Make sure you keep either Feb or Nov 2010 free – flowers meeting – we’ll sort out the logistics and hope to have a travel partner in place by then to get you all over to Dubai…


          A question to you both – how do you move on, keep looking forward and keep the demons in perspective?

        • Sarah says:

          Well, thanks to both CC and Jim.

          I have no idea how I cope with these two tragic events in my life. I said I am problematic because seriously the parents I have are not my real parents and apparently I was sold to them for a mere RM10,000 (like about $3000 at this time). I was mortified, angry, disappointed not knowing my root and I am alone now because I made a big leap in my life – I left the so-called home. Surprisingly, I think that I might have died if I continue to stay in the family. It is a very long story about how I have lived for the past 17 years with them. To be short, they just don’t understand me, know what I am or who I am, they were trying to mould me into something I am not and force me to do something I don’t like and when I finally resist them, they fought me, hurt me in all kinds of ways they could.. how I can stay there for any longer if they kept on torturing me? This is why I took the big step and got out, away from them.. find my own life, the life I want but of course it is never easy. Most people despised me because apparently I have been ungrateful but to live with them out of gratefulness is not something I can do.. At least CC, you have friends who concerned about you and I have none.

          Now, I no longer think of suicide because I know it is wrong, very wrong and I am old enough to stop doing such silly things. Trying to think positively and looking forward for a better day that seems like ‘not coming any time sooner’ but at least now I am better.

          Fortunately the internet has been very kind to me, directing me to so many positive sites meeting positive people especially here at GSTF.

          *Oh, and Jim.. it is sure to be wonderful to have a flowers meeting.. look forward for that but not sure how I can make it..

        • God, therapy, medications, husband, and support system (church family and friends) help me to keep moving on. I am also resolute on obtaining my healing. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult and with having suicidal thoughts or wanting to die thoughts since I can remember really wears on me and sometimes, I give into hopelessness and deeper depression. But, if I am able to keep those thoughts in perspective by realizing that, for me, sometimes it is a defense against feeling what I really need to feel (pain, anger and sadness) or that it is a flashback of how I used to feel and had no choice because it was my way of coping, I am able to keep things in perspective. I also know that if it gets too bad that I can openly discuss my suicidality with my therapist without him over-reacting. He always lets me decide if hospitalization is necessary. Additionally, I see him four times per week to avoid hospitalization. The other thing that helps is to have other activities. The medication really makes a difference. Without it I would have no energy or motivation to even get out of bed. Sometimes the moving on is just perserverence…knowing that this is the right way to go. I may be cursing, complaining and depressed (and other things) on the journey, but I just keep going and being absolutely open with my therapist. It has taken 20 years to get to this point with him due to my history. But, statistically I should have killed myself by now. I am really thankful that God has provided the emotional and financial supports to have excellent care. That was an excellent question.

        • I am hoping that my husband and I can make it to 2010. It really depends on our finances and how I am feeling…right now we are not even able to sleep in the same bed and I’m not able to go to church yet. But, I really want to make it there.

        • Jim says:

          CC & SARAH…


        • Sarah,

          I really do think that you could benefit from therapy. How do you feel about that?

        • Sarah says:

          Hm..CC, I do think that therapy is helpful but who is going to give therapy for free? I am definitely not in the position to get professional therapy.. (hospitalisation is the last thing on my mind)

          *Jim, that is great..perhaps by then I will be able to save enough for the trip.. :-)

        • Jim says:

          Well it’s a goal at least…why not?

          Hey with you 2 opening up like this here at flowers this has to be considered therapeutic right?

          You show more courage than most on here :-)

        • Sarah, I’m not thinking hospitalization. But, if you think that therapy would help and you really wanted it, I bet you could find a way. No pressure…really, but someday, I really think that it would be good for you. No guilt. I wish, I could help. We have low-cost and sliding scale people out here although not as many as there used to be. Email me anytime.

        • Jim-

          It is very therapeutic. And yes, courage…it is scary to talk about this s**t that is so private and is now all over the world…what was I thinking? No, I am glad that I did and proud of both of us. Thanks for the compliment.

        • Sarah says:

          CC, I guess someday I would find a therapy..

          Jim, it is scary sometimes to let go everything so private to the world but then again.. since there is no one else who would listen, I guess spill everything out here is extremely comforting..

    • Jim says:

      **Sorry – our SPAM filter is VERY sensitive 2day**

      ((Slapping spam filter))

  3. Gareth in Thailand says:

    World metal health day? The planet has gone nuts.

  4. James D says:

    saw a women on the bus with a “World Mental Health Day” Handbag :S there cashing in on this thing

  5. Purple13 says:

    Is this like world parsnip day? I’m kicking myself because i missed grandparents day (again) but that’s what you get when you don’t walk thru shopping malls every lunchtime and so miss the card shops advertising these events.

    It’s easy to say when you’re not depressed I appreciate but you really have got to be grateful for what you have got and take pride in your accomplishments if not your possessions.

    • Not, necessarily your accomplishments, but in who you are and who you are becoming. If you base it on accomplishments, you are bound to fail eventually…then, what. It is about who you are and being grateful.

    • Barbara Gallon! says:

      I understand your frustration not being able to walk through the shopping malls sir
      But don’t you and the girls discuss these important events at your coffee mornings?

  6. Taylor Blue says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. But because of recent visitors I won’t be sharing mine.. :(

  7. i*maginate says:

    I love this site – real people, real stories (where ppl are encouraged) and just real stuff altogether…

    About flowers, I love decorating with roses and jasmine. I don’t know much about flowers but after reading this blog, I like to study different flower types!

  8. Jim says:

    Thanks Frank & welcome to GO! Smell the flowers….what country re you dropping in from?

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