Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Celebrate World Mental Health Day

Photo of people mostly in silouette, jumping with arms raised. In white block letters, text reads "World Mental Health Day 2018"

Photo of people mostly in silhouette, jumping with arms raised. In white block letters, text reads "World Mental Health Day 2018." Image from:


Taking care of your mental and physical health is just as important as any career move or any responsibility.

-- Mireille Guiliano

Today, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. This day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Today is a day we all can play a part in, because we have a chance to ask ourselves, “what do I need?”. Mental Health Day reminds us of the importance of our mental health, to reflect on the changes we would like in our lives, and to implement new ways of being in the world.

For the 2018 World Mental Health Day, we present a cornucopia of resources, including:

  • Mental Health is a Spectrum

  • What is Self-Care and how it relates to mental health?

  • Self-Care Resources

  • Stats: We are in this together

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Mental Health and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Practical Tools

  • Resources for City of Portland Employees

Mental Health is a Spectrum

On this day we acknowledge mental health being on a spectrum, with one end being where a person feels like they are at their ultimate best; and the other end being where a person is experiencing distress and possibly a crisis and feeling like they are at their worst with no immediate relief. It is important that we acknowledge that everyone has mental health, and we all fall somewhere on that spectrum just as we all have physical health and fall on a spectrum within that realm. Where we fall on the mental health spectrum is dependent on our personal experiences, but regardless of where one falls on the spectrum there are tools and resources available to aid in improving or stabilizing your desired level of mental wellness.

Mental health can be referred to as the state of being mentally and emotionally regulated and sound that enables a person to adequately make choices, have confidence in themselves and abilities, and to tolerate the demands of daily life.  Mental health is not necessarily characterized by the absence of mental illness symptoms but is characterized on a spectrum and impacts individuals differently.

Mental health is the underpinning for emotions, perception, tolerance, communication, learning, judgement, resilience, and self-worth. Mental Health involves effective functioning in daily activities resulting in:

  • Productive activities (academically, professionally, and caring for others)
  • The ability to build and maintain healthy relationships
  • Th ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity
  • The ability to adequately care for one’s self
  • Effective emotion regulation
  • Making sound decisions
  • Effective communication
  • Rational thinking


What is self-care and how it relates to mental health?

Self-care is the act of being intentional and proactive in protecting and preserving one’s holistic mental well-being; this can be particularly important during times of elevated stress. Self-care revolves around one taking time to examine their needs and identify ways in which those needs can be met. Taking care of one’s self regularly is the equivalent to watering your garden in hopes of your planted seeds sprouting. As human beings, refueling ourselves enables us to share our best selves with those we work with and encounter in our communities. Self-care is a practice that aids in decreasing symptoms related to various mental illness disorders.

There are numerous self-care resources available to help us learn and understand what we can do to take care of ourselves. Please find some useful resources below.


Stats: Mental health is a part of the human experience and has the potential to draw people to one another through compassion, empathy, respect, and support. Because of our humanness; we are in this together! Mental health

  • An estimated 5.7% of U.S. adults experience generalized anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.
  • 1 in 5 Adults have a mental health condition. That's over 40 million Americans; more than the populations of New York and Florida combined.
  • Every week, 1 in 6 adults experiences a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression.
  • One in 18.5 adult Oregonians suffers from a mental illness.


Seasonal Affective Disorder

Fall is upon us and so are shorter days, rain, and dropping temperatures that results in a shift in mood, behavior, and energy levels for some people. This shift can possibly be identified as Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder is identified as a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons often with an onset beginning during late fall or early winter and symptoms dissipating when sunnier days come on the scene in the spring and summer months. Though many cases of SAD have an onset in the fall and winter; it is possible for onset to take place during spring and summer although highly unlikely.  SAD symptoms may start out mild and progress to severe as the season progresses. SAD signs and symptoms may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed and having low energy levels
  • Having problems with sleeping and experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated; having difficulty concentrating; and feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty.
  • Experiencing frequent thoughts of death or suicide

If you or someone that you know are experiencing a mental health crisis, feeling overwhelmed, or experiencing suicidal thoughts; there is 24/7 support available by calling 503-988-4888.


Mental Health and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

If you are wondering what support is available to you in the workplace as a person experiencing mental illness or decompensated mental health, check out the links below.

Blog post:


Practical Tools

Many may be feeling as if they are not equipped or well informed of how they can take care of themselves in an effort to reach or maintain optimal mental health. Resolve to care for yourself to manage or improve your mental health with the following self-care tips.

Get enough sleep

Pay attention to your feelings

Pursue a hobby



Connect with family, friends, and/or other supports

Practice gratitude daily


Take time to relax, this may include: watching television, talking on the telephone, or listening to podcasts or Ted Talks

Set boundaries

Laugh often

Ask for help

Limit alcohol and caffeine intake

Get to know yourself (learn your likes/dislikes)

See a therapist

Practice deep breathing techniques

Learn mindfulness and grounding techniques


Resources for City Employees

City Strong Health Coaching

City Strong Is a hands-on health coaching program through Moda health with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices that include things such as diet, stress management, and exercise.  This program is available to all City employees no matter their insurance coverage. For more information reach out our City Health Advocate at 855-232-6899 or via email at

Healthy Foundations for Chronic Conditions

Healthy Foundations is a hands-on program for Moda health participants experiencing chronic physical or mental conditions with a case management focus to provide support. This program offers individual support, education, and incentives to achieve their best health.

Free Counseling Sessions

Cascade Centers EAP offers counseling services (marital, familial, relational, grief/loss etc.) for employees and their household members. Each person has access to five free sessions. For more information contact: Cascade Centers EAP at 1-800-433-2320.