World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time in October 1992 at the initiative of Deputy Secretary-General Richard Hunter to raise public awareness of mental health issues. The purpose of the day is to have more open discussions on mental illness and to invest in both services and prevention.
According to WHO’s report, around the world, one in four people will have a mental illness during their lifetime, and around 450 million people are living with a mental health problem, that making it one of the biggest health issues in the world.
So “World Mental Health Day” encourages us to be more aware of both our mental health and other people’s. As well as looking after yourself and others and help us to think about how we could support other people to skip their mental problems.
- “Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide”
This year, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has decided to make “suicide prevention” the main theme of World Mental Health Day, as Suicide is a global public health problem that deserves the attention of all the actors in the field of mental health, including scientific and professional organizations, organizations for mental health users and their families, as according to the WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year so we need to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent.
WFMH choose “Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide” as a slogan for the day this year, according to WFMH 40 seconds can help someone’s life:
- If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kick start a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
- If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.
- If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health.
What we can do through the mental health day?
Mental health is everyone’s business we all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass and sometimes for some people those feelings reflect on their whole life so you should learn how to hear and see the pain in people, respect what others feel as small things can make a big difference to others.
Anything you do on WMH Day should be positive for others, even just talking to people about it, will help us all to understand and support people’s feelings better.