October 10 is World Mental Health Day

world mental health day

What Is World Mental Health Day?

The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health matters around the world and deploy efforts in support of mental health as a whole. 

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes psychological, social, and emotional aspects of our well-being. Our mental health affects how we feel, act, and think. It assists in our determination of how we relate to others, make choices, and ultimately handle stress. Mental health ranges from the worries of everyday life to more serious long-term conditions. 

The problems are typically classified and defined to enable professionals to refer individuals for appropriate treatment and care. Mental health is vital in every stage of life ranging from childhood, adolescence to adulthood. As life progresses, it’s common when facing mental health issues to have the following affected:

  • Behavior
  • Thinking
  • Mood

Several factors contribute to mental health issues, such as:

  • Biological factors such as brain chemistry and genes
  • A family history of mental health issues 
  • Horrific life experiences such as abuse or trauma 

In more recent years, there has been increased recognition of the vital role mental health plays in accomplishing global development goals. This is exhibited by mental health inclusion in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. One of the leading causes of disability is depression. The second leading cause of death is suicide among 15- to 29-year-olds. 

Individuals with intense mental health conditions die prematurely, about two decades earlier, due to physical conditions that can be prevented. Though there has been progress in a few countries, individuals with mental health conditions undergo severe human rights in the forms of the following areas:

  • Discrimination
  • Violation 
  • Stigma

Several mental health conditions can be treated effectively at a comparatively low cost. However, the gap between individuals in need of healthcare and individuals with access to healthcare remains considerable. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) Special Initiative for Mental Health was launched in 2019. The Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health’s main objective is to ensure affordable and accessible quality care for mental health conditions in 12 priority countries to 100 million more people.

What Are Early Warning Signs Of Mental Health Disorders?

The majority of mental health disorder symptoms have traditionally been divided into psychotic or neurotic groups. Neurotic symptoms are often severe forms of normal emotional experiences such as panic, anxiety, or depression. The lesson common forms of mental health psychotic symptoms interfere with the individual’s perception of reality. 

When this occurs, hallucinations such as hearing, smelling, feeling, or seeing things no one else experiences happens. Mental health problems must be diagnosed by a doctor. As discovered by the APMS in 2014, 1 in 6 people has experienced a common mental health problem in the past week. 

Depression and anxiety are the most common issues; 1 in 10 individuals is affected. Anxiety and depression can be extreme and have a long-lasting impact on an individual’s ability to function daily. Between 1 and 2 in every 100 people undergo a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They normally experience periods where they lose touch with reality. 

Many individuals live with a mental health issue or are beginning to develop one. Individuals struggling with a mental health issue will hide the beneath symptoms to avoid being judged and feel troubled without having a diagnosable or diagnosed mental health issue. 

Warning signs of mental illness include:

  • A loss of interest from individuals and activities once enjoyed 
  • Sleeping or eating too little or too much 
  • Having no or low energy 
  • A feeling of numbness or nothing matters 
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Experiencing unexplainable aches and pains
  • Engaging in drug and alcohol use more than usual 
  • Feeling unusually forgetful, confused, angry, upset, worried, on edge, or afraid
  • Experiencing intense mood swings that can cause issues with family and friends
  • Having persistent memories and thoughts that are difficult to release 
  • The act of hearing voices or believing things that aren’t true 
  • Thoughts of harming self or others 
  • The inability to perform daily tasks like getting to work, taking kids to school, or taking care of children 

How Does World Mental Health Day Benefit The World?

World Mental Health Day provides stakeholders the opportunity to work on their mental health issues as they discuss their occupation. It also allows them to discuss what needs to be accomplished to make mental health care a reality for individuals worldwide.

Who Started The Mental Health Initiative?

The World Mental Health Day was started as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health by then-Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. It was first observed on October 10, 1992. Now, the day is officially commemorated on October 10 each year. 

At the beginning of World Mental Health Day, the day didn’t have a specified theme. The main aim was general ones of mental health advocacy promotion and providing education to the public on more relevant matters. During the first three years of the initiative, a two-hour presentation was broadcast through the U.S. information agency satellite system globally from studios in Tallahassee, Florida.

The WFMH board members participated from the Florida studio with live telephone participation from Chile, England, Zambia, and Australia, along with pre-taped segments from Atlanta, Mexico City, and Geneva. In 1994, a theme for the day was used for the first time, once it was suggested by the then-secretary General Eugene Brody. The theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.”

There were multiple feedback reports as the mental health news traveled from 27 countries shortly after the campaign aired, indicating memorable national campaigns in England and Australia. Within three years, the day began to become a valuable affair for the following departments:

  • Interested organizations
  • Committed individuals 
  • Interested government departments

The three departments were determined to assist in exhibiting programs aimed to focus on the importance of mental health awareness. 

How Long Does The Initiative Last?

World Mental Health Day isn’t just a one-day event. The preparations are planned months in advance all geared towards this year’s theme, “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.” It is truly a long-term attempt to vocalize the importance of mental health awareness. 

In a few countries, World Mental Health Day extends over several days, a week, or in a couple of cases, an entire month. This project has progressed over the years to eventually run effectively on its own. On October 10, there will be announcements and events celebrating World Mental Health Day. 

The importance of mental health awareness has been showcased by the dedication of the main components. Now on October 10th, thousands of individuals from around the world will showcase the importance of mental health in the streets presenting the day. 

What Other Organizations Are Involved?

There are various organizations involved in the World Mental Health initiative such as:

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • World Federation for Mental Health
  • Mental Illness Awareness Week
  • Global Mental Health 
  • World Health Day 

The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) is an international, educational, multidisciplinary advocacy concerned with avenues of mental health. It was founded in 1948 for all individuals and nations, aimed for the prevention of emotional and mental disorders by utilizing the proper care and treatment for such disorders while promoting mental health. 

How Has Mental Health Been Affected By The Pandemic?

“Although the COVID-19 crisis is, in the first instance, a physical health crisis, it has the seeds of a major mental health crisis as well, if action is not taken. Good mental health is critical to the functioning of society at the best of times. It must be front and center of every country’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.” 

— United Nations Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health, May 2020.

Worry, fear, and stress are natural responses to real and perceived threats, especially when the world is faced with the unknown and uncertainty. It is understandable and normal for individuals to experience fear when it comes to COVID-19. When significant changes are added to the daily fear of contracting the virus, mental health can skyrocket. 

The restricted movement has been applied in supporting efforts to reduce or restrain the spread of the virus. 

Mental health can be difficult when people around the world must face the new realities of the following:

  • Temporary unemployment
  • Home-schooling children
  • Lack of physical contact from colleagues, family members, and friends 
  • Working from home 

When all those factors play a role together, it’s pivotal that we each look after our physical and mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on society’s mental health. 

The groups that have been predominantly affected are the following:

  • Individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions 
  • Health and other frontline workers 
  • Individuals living alone 
  • Students 

The neurological and mental substance use disorder services have been disrupted significantly. There is always a cause for optimism. During the World Mental Health Assembly in May of 2021, governments from around the world acknowledged the need to increase quality mental health services at all levels. 

There are a few countries that have discovered new ways of getting mental health care providers to the populations. During this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign, the efforts made in a few of the countries will be showcased and individuals will be encouraged to spotlight positive stories as a part of their stories to serve as an inspiration to others. There will also be new materials in easy-to-read formats provided on how to take care of mental health and provide support to others.  

How To Incorporate Wellness Into Mental Health

When operating in a positive state of mental health, the following are invited into an individual’s life:

  • Meaningful contributions to their community 
  • Coping with the stresses of daily life
  • Working productively
  • Realizing  full potential

What Are Some Ways To Have Positive Mental Health Maintained?

  • Getting professional help if needed 
  • Becoming physically active 
  • Connecting with other individuals
  • Keeping a positive mindset
  • Getting an adequate amount of sleep
  • Developing healthy coping skills
  • Helping out others

Mental Health Freedom Awaits Through BRC Healthcare

Taking the first step in pursuing mental health services is crucial in recovery. Here at BRC Healthcare, we understand the importance of quality healthcare and provide treatment options for a variety of mental health matters. You are welcomed to our supportive, warm, and community-driven environment.

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