INDIA: Every year, October 10, is celebrated as World Mental Health Day. The day has utmost significance in the modern day as the social stigma and mistreatment of people with mental health conditions crucially affect the way we see and deal with mental health issues.
The day’s objective is to raise awareness about mental health issues globally and promote the efforts of organizations that support the cause of mental health.
It is an opportunity for mental health crusaders to showcase and talk about their work while at the same time pointing out the requirements to make mental health care more accessible to the general public around the world.
Richard Hunter founded World Mental Health Day in 1992. He was the Deputy Secretary-General of the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH).
World Mental Health Day
At the time of its inception, World Mental Health Day did not have a specific objective other than to advocate mental health as a whole. During that period, it was challenging to change a vast number of harmful and dangerous habits that made an already difficult situation even worse for people.
Innumerable mental health issues couldn’t be treated properly. Financing was another problem that was detrimental to treating mental health conditions in France, while in New Zealand, people with mental health issues were treated inhumanely.
There was a general ignorance of the reality of mental health issues. This called for urgent response on a global scale to solve the mental health crisis.
The day has great significance because many aspects of mental health have been challenged. Even before COVID-19 struck in 2019, an estimated 1 in 8 people globally were afflicted with a mental disorder.
The services, skills, and funding supplies available for mental health remain less compared to what is needed, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic, apart from the lethal viral infection, has accelerated a global crisis for mental health, giving rise to short- and long-term stresses while further undermining many people’s mental health.
According to reports by the World Health Organisation, there has been a rise in anxiety and depressive disorders by more than 25% during the first year of the pandemic.
This year’s World Mental Health Day campaign slogan is: “Make mental health = well-being for all a global priority”. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will work with its partners to launch a campaign around the theme.
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