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World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2022: Everything you need to know.

WHO wants us to take part in the “40 seconds of action” initiative for World Mental Health Day 


The first full week of October is celebrated as World Mental Health Week, and the 10th of October is celebrated as World Mental Health Day. It is a global health awareness, education, and advocacy campaign against social stigma. The World Federation for Mental Health initiative helped to celebrate the day in 1992 for the first time. The World Federation for Mental Health is a global mental health organisation with contacts and members in more than 150 countries. Every year on this day, many supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on the lives of people all over the world.

The Banyan and the BALM (Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health), in association with Sudram Fasteners Centre School, are hosting a Mad Pride walk on Elliot’s beach in Chennai on 10th October. This walk will include people with lived experiences, their caregivers, and other supporters from all walks of life. The walkathon will talk about mental ill-health, work as a platform for formal and informal modes of peer support, and social models of disability, along with central roles for users and caregivers in auditing, designing, and evaluating mental health services. Sensational programs for young adults and children are also organised from October 1 to 10.

What happens on this today?

The day is celebrated in more than 150 countries through regional, local, and national World Mental Health Day Commemorative programs and events.

–The officials sign the World Mental Health Day proclamation.

-Educational lectures are delivered and research papers on mental health issues are distributed.

-Public service announcements are made.

Organizations or individuals who have made significant contributions to improving mental health issues are recognised.

This day is an initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH), which is supported by the WHO (World Health Organization). WHO is the directing and coordinating authority of the United Nations. The Mental Health Foundation is also an active organisation that takes part in promoting World Health Day.

Mental disorders affect almost 12% of the total population of the world, which equals 450 million. Every fourth person in the world experiences some kind of mental illness that could benefit from treatment and diagnosis. In 2002, statistics from the World Health Organization suggest that 154 million people suffered from depression (a form of mental illness). WHO says that mental health is defined as a state of well-being where people can realise their own potential, work productively, cope with normal life stresses, and contribute to their living community.

Mental disorders are prominent causes of disability & ill-health

Mental disorders are prominent causes of disability and ill health across the world. According to the WHO, mental health problems account for about 16% of the global burden of disease in people aged between 10-19 years old.

Early years in adulthood and adolescence are a time when many changes occur- such as leaving home, changing schools, university or a new job. It can be an exciting time for many, but for a few, these times could be filled with stress and apprehension. New technologies have brought additional pressure along with many benefits. If these stresses are not recognised or managed, they can lead to mental illness.

Mental health services lack financial and human resources in many countries, especially low and middle-income countries. More funding is needed to promote mental health to increase awareness among the population.

WHO is encouraging people to take part in “40 seconds of action” imitative

World Mental Health Day is a day for us to unite in our efforts to improve the mental health of people around the world. WHO is encouraging people to prepare to take “40 seconds of action” on October 10 to help them with the following things.

—Improve knowledge of what could be done to put a stop to suicide.

—Lower the stigma linked with suicide.

—Increase awareness of the significance of suicide as a worldwide public health problem.

-Let those who are struggling know that they are not alone.

Overall, WHO is providing an opportunity to show us that we care. Anyone can take part in this initiative in whichever way makes more sense to them. Your activity could be private, such as sending a message of hope to a friend or public figure who is struggling with mental health, or it could be public, such as posting a video on social media asking national or local authorities to take action on this issue. The initiative is named “40 seconds of action” because WHO thinks that every 40 seconds a person dies by committing suicide.

To know more about the “40 seconds of action” initiative, click here

Edit- Ayushi Mittal

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