World Mental Health Day
Annually, World Mental Health Day on October 10th raises awareness and mobilizes efforts to support mental health.
Mental health is a hot topic. This is good news. It means the stigma for mental health issues is slowly going away. Mental health issues are finally getting the attention they deserve. Healthcare workers and individuals feel they can discuss mental health more openly. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, however.
As a whole, we often misunderstand mental health because it is hard to define. Additionally, mental health includes several areas. These areas involve one’s social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Mental health affects thoughts, feelings, and actions. When one has positive mental health, they are better equipped to handle stress, be more productive, and realize their full potential.
When one has poor mental health, they are more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder. These disorders include the following diagnoses:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Of these mental health disorders, most people experience anxiety disorders. Statistics show about 4% of the world’s population has a form of anxiety disorder. In the United States, the percentage increases to just over 18% of the population.
Some people are at a higher risk of getting a mental health disorder. These include those with high-stress levels, those who have experienced trauma, and those who have few healthy relationships. However, family history plays a role in higher risk factors, too.
Thanks to increased awareness and increased funding for research, there are effective treatment options for most cases of mental health disorders. Conventional treatment methods include medication, psychotherapy, and hospital and residential programs.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MentalHealthDay
The World Federation for Mental Health organizes World Mental Health Day. Each year, a variety of events are held all around the world to increase awareness about mental health issues. Events include educational seminars, free mental health screenings, walk-a-thons, marathons, conferences, mass media promotions, and public service announcements.
If you know someone who struggles with a mental health disorder, World Mental Health Day is a great way to reach out to them. While many people don’t feel comfortable talking to others about their diagnosis, knowing they have someone to reach out to makes a real difference. You can also donate to an organization that advocates for mental health. A few include the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. If you think you might have a mental health disorder or are at a high risk of getting one, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Share this day on social media with #WorldMentalHealthDay.
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY HISTORY
The World Federation for Mental Health first observed World Mental Health Day in 1992 with members and contacts in many countries.While the federations first used a theme in 1994, previous years did not. The first theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.” Twenty-seven countries participated in that campaign.
In 1995, the World Federation for Mental Health translated planning kits for World Mental Health Day into various languages. These languages included Spanish and French. Today, planning kits are translated into Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, and other languages.
Recent themes for World Mental Health Day have included:
2019: Working Together to Prevent Suicide
2018: Young People and Mental Health
2017: Mental Health in the Workplace
2016: Psychological and Mental Health First Aid