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Take Charge of Your Mental Health

Today marks the end of mental Health awareness month. Mental health affects millions of people all across the globe. However, it will be ignorant to claim that one month in a year puts a deserved spotlight on mental health. Mental health is real and does not only affect a select few nor does it only last one month out of the year. Mental health is a real health crisis with an ever rising prevalence. It does not differentiate between race, age, gender or sex. Hence the question, what can be done to address mental health outside of mainstream healthcare. After all, not everyone can afford a psychiatrist, nor can they afford antidepressants or anxiolytics.

It is very important to note that mental health is not limited to the main stream conditions that we have developed pharmaceuticals to tame. Mental health conditions include but are not limited to Depression, Eating disorders, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, suicide ideation, sleep disorder and more. So the million dollar question is what can we do on a day to day basis to improve some of these mental health conditions?

You must be wondering, who’s this lunatic saying all this about mental health and what qualifications does he have? Well, I am a Nurse Practitioner with over 14 years of industry experience. I have seen and experienced first hand what depression and anxiety looks like and feels like. As a clinician, one of the most challenging aspects of my practice is telling someone that the stomach ache they have is not due to a bug or gastritis. Rather, it’s a manifestation of Anxiety. Or that those palpitations they are having in their chest could be a consequence of lack of sleep. It is this first hand experience that is motivating me to bring mental health to the forefront and to do something about it. While I very much enjoy what I do as a Nurse practitioner in Cardiology, I feel compelled to address the multifarious health problems facing humanity.. And so, how do I plan on doing this? I am working on creating a platform that makes it easier to find your community and reap its benefits.

In Collaboration with an incredible team, we are looking to disrupt the status quo. It is well documented that socializing with others reduces isolation and can reduce the incidence of depression. We also know that physical activity improves sleep quality, reduces depression and improves overall health.

At MeChi, we are taking a step back and looking at ways to reconnect people to the historical tools that have helped them form communities and support systems. MeChi Aims to make it easy for you to find the activities that meet your needs. Find your community of hikers, or soccer players or heck, go for a solo hike. Trust us, it is worth it! While recreational activity and interacting with others is an utmost goal of our organization, the hope is that having a social platform through which people can meet and connect via a mutual interest i.e. recreational activities, the social benefits of these interactions will naturally morph and could subsequently improve mental health.

We recognise that It can be challenging to start an activity and maintain the same high level of engagement. However, we are confident that if barriers limiting recreational activities are removed, this will increase engagement and consequently improve community health and wellness. In short, we are looking to leverage recreational activities as medicine.

Please drop us your comments in the contacts section or suggestions of what types of recreational activities you enjoy and stay tuned while we continue to work on this revolutionary tool. Remember that just 30 mins of moderate intensity activity a day will improve your mental health. The most important part is to recognize that mental health is not a one month issue or an individual issue. It affects many people more than one would think and it’s a condition on a continuum. I hope this Mental health awareness month gave you the kickstart you needed to evaluate your mental health.

Xoxo ~ Marty Cho and Delma Ndifor~


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