People with mental health disorders are often termed as “crazy”, or “lunatic” and we need to stop this. They also have the equal right to co-exist with us and live healthy, peaceful life.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, we are here to brief you about the history and significance of this important day.
World Mental Health Day History
World Health Day falls every year on October 10 to mark the importance of raising awareness about mental health issues. The World Federation Of Mental Health (WFMH), along with the deputy secretary-general, Richard Hunter, declared World Mental Health Day on October 10, 1992.
By the 90s, there were a plethora of mental health issues that were going on across the globe. Several countries including France, New Zealand were struggling to gain treatment facilities for the same. This was the time when WFMH came forward to act against the same globally.
The US information agency satellite conducted a two-hour telecast broadcast for the first three years in Tallahassee, Florida. Other countries like Chile, Zambia, Australia, Mexico, Geneva also took part and this became a global platform to address the issue.
The first mental health day theme of “Improving the Quality Of Mental Health Services throughout the World” in 1994 focussed on working towards providing better treatment services and bringing awareness about mental health. Around 27 countries forwarded their feedback reports and after this Australia and England conducted national campaigns over the same.
World Mental Health Day Significance
There are so many people who continue to survive without any treatment for their mental health. The social stigma that continues to grow around this issue is what creates the treatment gap. People with mental health problems continue to face discrimination.
This discrimination not only affects the person’s mental health but also affects their educational and job opportunities, while also affecting their relationships with loved ones.
This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and should not be encouraged in any case. This year’s theme will focus on the same and make the world aware of the importance of mental health.
Not only is it important for us to aware the world about it, but encouraging people suffering from the same talk about it is equally necessary. People often refrain from talking about their mental health and keep it to themselves which makes it even worse. It is our duty to support them and let them know they are not alone.
People have suffered from other ailments because of their mental health. For instance, mental health tends to increase the chances of visual impairment. It also causes anxiety and depression.
The pandemic has made this issue all the more worse. With people stuck in their houses without any socialization, there have been a plethora of cases of mental health during this time. People continue to suffer without ample treatment. This is the time that we need to act immediately.
World Mental Health Day 2021 Theme
This year’s theme was declared by the WFMH President, Dr. Ingrid Daniels, as “Mental Health In An Unequal World”.
The theme is aptly chosen and voted globally by the WFMH members and supporters as the world is so contradictory, with the rich getting richer and the poor remaining in poverty.
In a similar vein, last year’s theme focused on the several inequalities that we face regarding one’s race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, also people with mental health disorders. Such indiscrimination affects people’s mental health.
This year’s theme will showcase that mental health services continue to remain unequal. About 75% to 95% of people with mental health issues in the lower- and middle-income countries, do not have access to mental health services and the condition is not very good in the high-income countries as well.
Last 5 Years Themes of World Mental Health Day
2016: Psychological First Aid
2017: Mental health in the workplace
2018: Young people and mental health in a changing world
2019: Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
2020: Move for mental health: Increased investment in mental health
World Mental Health Day Campaign 2021
The World Mental Health Day campaign 2021, “ Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality”, is a step to come together and join hands towards the inequality that one has to face with mental health problems.
This is something we need to address on a global scale. We need to support societies and researchers and encourage them for their active participating in the same.
This global crisis has resulted in economic, health, and social inequalities. As responsible citizens, we need to come together and take a stand for the rights of the affected people.
How is World Mental Health Day Celebrated?
To mark the event of World Mental Health Day (October 10), Pan American Health Organization, on October 8, will conduct a live session across America to talk about the ongoing issue of mental health during the pandemic. The live conversation will focus on how Covid-19 has made it worse for people with mental health issues.
Apart from this, different countries celebrate the day in their own ways. Various campaigns and webinars are organized and due to Covid-19, the events have been taking place virtually for the past two years.
To get involved in the celebrations, there’s a lot of things that you can also do and share your bit of contribution towards the issue. The most important being that you can talk to a person dealing with mental health problems and be there to support them. Sometimes all you need to feel better is someone who can listen to you. And this is exactly how you can help the diseased.
You can also volunteer for several campaigns and help in raising awareness in the world. All in all this day is an opportunity for you to come forward and address the grave issue that has been neglected for decades.