September 24th, 2021 | Updated on November 18th, 2023
We all celebrate World Mental Health Day on 10th October every year in a quest to make people aware of mental issues grasping the world over and make efforts to improve mental health.
Until now, mental health is probably the most neglected segment of public health. Around 1 billion people suffer from mental ailments, and 3 million die yearly due to alcohol abuse. The social stigma, discrimination, and human rights abuse of the people suffering from mental health issues increase the extent of this problem.
All people can take part in the campaign for this year and take concrete steps to support mental health and help their friends and family who are still suffering. Even companies can set up mental health efforts for their employees’ welfare.
Governments ought to establish and scale mental health services, and journalists increase the awareness for mental health.
Overall Objective of The World Mental Health Day
The primary purpose behind celebrating World Mental Health Day is to raise the awareness of mental health issues amongst the people and increase the efforts made to tackle mental health.
This day allows all those who are already working in this area to tell people about their work and what more efforts need to be made to make the care of mentally ill people fulfilling and successful.
History Of World Mental Health Day
It was in 1992 that the World Federation of Mental Health, led by its deputy secretary-general Richard Hunter set up the World Mental Health Day. They did not have any specific aim to do that, just that they wanted someone to take up the cause of mental health.
The world was facing multiple mental health issues that were not being tackled properly. People were struggling to get public funding for mental health treatment in France.
Overall, people were entirely oblivious to what mental health is. World Federation of Mental Health considered this as a worldwide crisis and wanted to act fast.
In the beginning, for three hours, there would be a two-hour telecast broadcasted worldwide. The studio was based in Florida, and there was participation from many countries like Chile, England, Australia, and Zambia. Certain countries like Geneva, Atlanta, and Mexico City taped segments of the program.
The theme of the first World Mental Health Day was ‘Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World,’ and it was conducted in 1994.
After the campaign, 27 countries sent their feedback reports. Pus there were national campaigns in England and Australia. Then WFMH board members from across the world organized events that matched with the theme of the day.
From 1995 onwards, the Pan American Health Organization translated the planning kit material into Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, and Arabic. With time more countries joined hands, and civilians started realizing mental health was in tandem with human rights.
Similarly, the World Mental Health Day themes also showed a change. Topics like Children, health, work, trauma, suicide, and women were added, and today almost everyone is aware of what mental health is.
Mental Health In An Unequal World
The WFMH President, Dr. Ingrid Daniels, has announced this year’s theme for the day, ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World.’
This theme was selected by a global vote which included the WFMH members and supporters. The world is getting polarized with the rich gaining more money, and people living below the poverty line are also high.
This theme chosen will showcase that access to mental health services is still unequal. That is, around 75% to 95% of mentally ill people in developing countries do not have any access to mental health treatments.
There is a lack of investment made in mental health instead of the overall health budget accrued in any country.
With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, this inequality has had a more severe impact on the health outcome, and no nation was actually prepared for this kind of pandemic.
COVID will keep affecting the people in different ways, either through illness or through death and grief in the form of a family member’s death. There is economic impact also with job loss and insecurity in jobs as well as social isolation involved.
This year’s World Mental Health Day campaign will help us pay attention to issues that enhance mental health inequality.
We should support civil societies so they can know how to tackle this inequality. Also, we should encourage the researchers to share with us all that they know about mental health inequality with practical ideas on how we can tackle it.
How To Observe World Mental Health Day
Register Yourself For A Group Therapy
You can register yourself for a group therapy workshop at your workplace. This will allow you and your colleagues to express their fears within a safe environment. We believe that pushing and moving on is the way to manner such issues, but this approach could aggravate the problem.
Maintain A Regular Routine
There are many changes that you can incorporate in your world that go beyond the WMHD. Maintain a regular sleep routine, follow a healthy diet, take lunch breaks and go for walks are just a few of them. Understand your needs to take care of yourself.
Learn From The Theme
Every year there is a new theme, but even if it does not involve you and your problems, try to learn something from it. Research the subject and spend time understanding its extent. Awareness goes beyond what you do, and you can appreciate other’s issues by working on this.
World Mental Health Day Quotes
1. “You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” — Dan Millman
2. “Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it’s first brought out into the open.” — Steven Aitchison
3. “Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.” – Adam Ant
4. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Albus Dumbledore
5. “This feeling will pass. The fear is real but the danger is not.”― Cammie McGovern
6. “Let your story go. Allow yourself to be present with who you are right now.” – Russ Kyle
7. “Take your time healing, as long as you want. Nobody else knows what you’ve been through. How could they know how long it will take to heal you?” — Abertoli
8. “One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” — Linda Poindexter
9. “Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” — Charles Bukowski
10. “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” — John Green
11. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Kahlil Gibran
12. “Self-care is how you take your power back.” — Lalah Delia
13. “My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.” — Emery Lord
14. “You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.” — Kody Keplinger
15. “Your illness is not your identity. Your chemistry is not your character.” — Rick Warren
16. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Albus Dumbledore