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Three ways to support your mental health: World Mental Health Day 2022

Posted on: Monday, October 10th, 2022

Today is World Mental Health Day – with a focus this year on making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.

To mark the day, Edwin Mburu, a Mental Health Champion from Kenya, shares three top tips for good mental health, based on his own experience:

1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental health condition in our lifetime. Mental health conditions are the world’s leading cause of disability, affecting over 450 million people. 80% of people with mental illness live in low or middle-income countries, where most have little or no access to treatment or support and many face extreme poverty, stigma, discrimination and abuse.

CBM works in partnership with communities, health authorities and people with lived experience of mental health conditions to improve access to mental health support and tackle the exclusion faced by people with psychosocial disabilities (disability arising from mental health conditions).

“Someone just like me”- Tackling stigma and discrimination

Mental health champions like Edwin Mburu play a vital role in helping to promote understanding of mental health, sharing their lived experiences to tackle myths, challenge stereotypes and reduce stigma. Edwin was one of 111 Mental Health Champions in 5 countries trained through the Time to Change Global initiative (open in new tab) to share their stories and create change. There is great power in hearing a story from “someone just like me”, who lives with a mental health condition.

Edwin recently joined Rosemary Gathara, Director of CBM partner Basic Needs Basic Rights, at a learning event on tackling stigma around disability, convened by Bond (the UK network for organisations working in international development) (Bond website – open in new tab). Edwin described how training to share his story was transformative in his own journey towards good mental health, discovering the power that comes from speaking out about his challenges and his recovery. “When I stay silent, stigma wins, and I cannot let that happen.” Edwin continues to work with Basic Needs Basic Rights, to share his experiences and promote awareness and understanding, and he has also established his own organisation, “Mentally Unsilenced”.

As well as training local champions like Edwin, Basic Needs Basic Rights is working to challenge disability stereotypes in the media. Negative portrayal of people with mental health conditions in the media, such as sensationalist visual imagery, undignified language and insinuations of incapacity and violent behaviour, stigmatise those living with mental health conditions, often preventing them from seeking help. At the Bond event, Rosemary spoke of the progress she has made in working with journalists and media outlets, developing reporting guidelines with them so that people living with mental health conditions are represented with dignity and a sense of common humanity.

Learn more about CBM’s work on mental health.

Photo: L-R: Kirsty Smith, CBM UK Chief Executive, Rosemary Gathara, Director of CBM partner Basic Needs Basic Rights, Edwin Mburu, Mental Health Champion from Kenya, Erla Magnusdottir, BasicNeeds Mental Health Coordinator.