Today, on World Mental Health Day, we echo this year’s theme that Mental Health is a Universal Human Right. In Scouting we offer programmes that encourage and stimulate personal growth including physical skills, knowledge, and understanding of the world around us. However, Scouting is a holistic programme and therefore our programmes also promote the building of inner strength, of resilience, confidence and overall mental wellness.
It is important for us to be aware and informed about our own mental health, as well as that of our family and friends close to us. We know that some of our Scouting family members are struggling both physically and mentally. Life can get hard. A death in the family, loss of a job or home, separation or a divorce, financial instability, challenges at school or in a relationship … the list is endless. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, fear, hopelessness, stress and anxiety are normal and they usually pass with time., However, if those feelings are so overwhelming that they interfere with your daily activities and occupy your mind 24/7, you may be suffering from depression and anxiety.
These feelings are real, they are serious, but they are treatable with the support of mental health professionals. So this is why we want to remind you that you are not alone. You can reach out and talk about it, and get the right treatment to help you get better. It is your right to be happy and healthy, and we want to help you.
If you, a family member, or friend feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed, reach out for help. NPOwer is a free service offered to NPO’s and their volunteers. The free helpline is specifically there to help people in South Africa who are struggling with their mental health. If you are approached by a Scouting member who is reaching out for help, please listen patiently and encourage them to call NPOwer for help.