World Mental Health Day
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 2021 is “Mental Health in an Unequal World“
The theme aims to address the growing inequalities in our society it also aims in highlighting how access to mental health services remains unequal. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help. Especially people who are already facing considerable challenges and COVID-19 has deepened the long-standing inequities in mental health.
Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10 October is a great day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
Effect of COVID-19
Since 2019 our lives have been changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The year has brought many challenges for daily lifestyle changes like working from home, not going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them, students are taking online classes and many livelihoods are threatened, people with mental health conditions are experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And nothing can be said of the grief of losing your loved one. COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of economic consequences and many businesses need to be shut down. The need for mental health and psychosocial support has increased substantially that is why the goal of the World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health.
Currently, 16 out of 10 persons aged 19 years have participated in mental health diseases. 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 of 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.
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