10th October is observed as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. It was an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, the organization behind the first celebration of the day in 1992. The first celebration was without a theme until 1994 the day was celebrated with the theme “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) supports World Mental Health Day to raise awareness by maintaining strong relationships with Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe and developing technical material to spread the cause. In 2018 World Mental Health Day focus on the theme “Young people and mental health in a changing world.“
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2019 is “Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention”.
Suicidal behavior is found in humans and is increasing alarmingly in few past decades. According to WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people fifteen to twenty-nine years old. One in four people in the world is affected by mental health at some point in their life.
Currently, 16 out of 10 persons aged 19 years have a participation in the disease. The early years of adolescence and adulthood are the times of life when many changes occur, for example changing school, leaving home and starting a college, university, or new job. For many people, these are exciting times and in some cases, it can be a time of tension and doubt. The increased use of online technologies with many benefits has also brought additional pressure for people in this age group, although this stress can cause mental illness if not identified and managed.
Prevention and management of mental distress among adolescents and adults should be initiated from an early age by increasing awareness and understanding early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness. Parents and teachers of children can help children and adolescents build skills of life to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and school, such as social skills, problem-solving skills, and confidence.
We should build and generate resources, which help adults feel empowered and connected. Psychological support may be provided by trained health workers at schools and other community levels, who can detect and ban mental health disorders.
Let us work together to raise awareness of suicide prevention and help our community in building a healthy and happy society.