Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is a much talked about topic these days. Earlier people barely talked of it let alone address it as a genuine problem. But this is changing. People are becoming more and more vocal about their mental health issues and sharing their stories over the internet with the hope that it might help someone. 

What is mental health?

Mental health is a total of our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act.

How we handle stress, relate to others and make choices also depends on our mental health.
But with growing restlessness and fast-moving life, we have neglected our mental health. Neglecting our mental health gives rise to many mental problems. It reflects in your mood, behaviour and thinking. 

Not just restlessness and life but there are other factors also that contribute to mental health problems. Including:

  • Biological factors like genes and or brain chemistry 
  • Life experiences like trauma and stress
  • Family history of mental health problems. 

A person with good mental health will be able to realise their full potential, cope with stresses in life, work productively and make meaningful contribution to the community as whole.

Early signs of mental health problems

Some you might know may be suffering from mental health issues without you being completely unaware about it. Notice the following symptoms and reach out to them if you think they need help. 

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Having low or no energy
  • Pulling away from people and social activities 
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Yelling or fighting 
  • Severe mood swings 
  • Having unexplained aches and pains 

There are other symptoms as well but these are the most common ones. It is very crucial to identify these signs and help the one in need or get professional help before the situation gets worse. People who are suffering from mental health problems may also try to harm themselves. Before the situation gets to this, it is advisable to seek help from a professional. 

Mental health awareness

The pandemic had a big toll on everyone’s mental health. Apart from the people who died because of the coronavirus, there were hundreds of people who died because of mental health issues. It was also reported that the number of suicides increased during the lockdown. 

But our society has since very long considered mental health a myth and has continuously ignored the problem. And the main reason behind this ignorance is the lack of awareness. 

More than half of the people still consider depression as being just sad or crying. They are unaware of the fact that a person may look happy on the outside but may be suffering alone on the inside. They still don’t know that depression and anxiety are so much more than just being sad. 

This is where awareness comes in. People and celebrities have openly started talking about their struggles with mental health. This has encouraged many people to come forward and talk about their stories. Many helplines have also been set up for people who need to talk to someone or a professional. 

You can talk to someone you trust or a loved one. But if you feel like the situation is much worse which can’t be solved by talking out, seek professional help. 

It’s not always the person suffering from a mental health problem who has to reach out to help. If you know someone who might be suffering you can also reach out first. Check up on your loved ones once in a while because it might make a lot of difference. 

In the end, awareness is important but it is useless if not brought into action and implemented properly. 

Axiom announces crew for the first private space mission

It was everyone’s dream to go to space once. The dream started when we aspired to become astronauts but this dream changed as we grew up. Earlier it was only possible for astronauts to go to space. But Elon Musk had other plans. Currently, the world’s richest man, Elon Musk is preparing to send 3 people in space. Yes, you read it right. 3 people who are not astronauts will soon go on a journey to outer space and live the dream we all had.

Axiom Space announced on January 26 that it has selected a crew for the first-ever private mission to the International Space station. It is a crew of four people. One is a NASA veteran and three private paying customers. 

The proposed mission is set to launch a SpaceX Crew Dragon. But this mission will not happen before January 2022. The crew will stay at the International Space Station for a time period of eight days. The objective of this mission is to conduct extensive research and undertake “philanthropic projects”. 

The crew members are:

  • Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut. He will be the flight’s commander 
  • Larry Connor will be the flight’s pilot.
  • Mark Pathy will serve as a mission specialist.
  • Eytan Stibbe will also serve as a mission specialist. 

Michael Lopez has logged a total of 260 days in outer space in his previous missions and is also the vice president at Axiom. Lopez-Alegria will be the first former NASA astronaut to return to orbit and visit the ISS. He will also be 63 when he launches. 

At the age of 71 years, Connor will become the second oldest person to fly to space. He is the head of the Connor Group, a luxury apartment investment firm with over $3 billion in assets. 

Pathy, 50, will be the 11th Canadian to fly to space after nine Canadian Space Agency astronauts and the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, who became Canada’s first so-called “space tourist” in 2009.

Patthy is the CEO and Chairman of Marvik, a privately owned investment and financing company. 

Stibbe, who was born in Haifa, will be the second Israeli to launch into space, following his friend Ilan Ramon, who tragically died on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. Stibbe founded the Vital Capital Fund, which is focused on business and financing ventures primarily in Africa. He is also one of the founders and is a board member of the Center for African Studies at Ben-Gurion University. 

Although Axiom did not disclose the price the three commercial astronauts paid to be on the Ax-1 mission. But according to internal sources, an estimate of cost-per-person is priced around $55 million. 

The mission now needs the approval from NASA. Axiom also proposed the potential of flying two per year. Axiom and NASA are currently working through a Basic Ordering Agreement that will enable private astronaut missions to the ISS. 

The Axiom space station modules will initially be attached to the Harmony node of the ISS. After the ISS is retired, the modules will be separated. It will then become the first free-flying commercial space station in low Earth orbit. 

Cyberbullying and Students

In today’s world, cyberbullying cases are common. Many students are negatively affected by it. Let us learn about it and know to stop it.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Unlike the normal face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.

Cyberstalking is a form of online harassment in which the perpetrator uses electronic communications to stalk a victim. This is considered more dangerous than other forms of cyberbullying because it generally involves a credible threat to the victim’s safety. 

Internet trolls intentionally try to provoke or offend others in order to elicit a reaction. Trolls and cyberbullies do not always have the same goals: while some trolls engage in cyberbullying, others may be engaged in comparatively harmless mischief. 

Effects of cyberbullying

When bullying happens online it can feel as if you’re being attacked everywhere, even inside your own home. It can seem like there’s no escape. The effects can last a long time and affect a person in many ways:

  • Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry 
  • Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things you love
  • Physically — tired (loss of sleep), or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches 

The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others, can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.

Fighting cyberbullying 

If you think you’re being bullied, the first step is to seek help from someone you trust such as your parents, a close family member or another trusted adult. In your school you can reach out to a counsellor or your favourite teacher. And if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know, search for a helpline in your country to talk to a professional counsellor.

For bullying to stop, it needs to be identified and reporting it is key. It can also help to show the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable. If you experience cyberbullying, you may want to delete certain apps or stay offline for a while to give yourself time to recover. But getting off the Internet is not a long-term solution. 

  • Think twice before posting or sharing anything online – it may stay online forever and could be used to harm you later. 
  • Don’t give out personal details such as your address, telephone number or the name of your school.
  • You can decide who can see your social media profile, send you direct messages or comment on your posts by adjusting your account privacy settings. 
  • Besides ‘unfriending’, you can completely block people to stop them from seeing your profile or contacting you.
  • You can also choose to have comments by certain people to appear only to them without completely blocking them.
  • You can delete posts on your profile or hide them from specific people.