World Mental Health Day serves as a reminder of the importance of access to mental health services and the necessity to tear down the social stigma around mental health issues. It’s a chance to talk about it, learn about it, and raise funds for services.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and this year the theme is “Our Minds, Our Rights.” Mental health is defined as a state of mental well-being that allows us to positively cope with stressors in our lives. World Mental Health Day serves as a reminder of the importance of access to mental health services and the necessity to tear down the social stigma around mental health issues. It’s a chance to talk about it, learn about it, and raise funds for services.
An absence of mental health well-being has been linked to increased risk of self-harm, substance use disorder, and depression and anxiety among many other negative effects on physical health. Studies show a strong link between mental health disorders and exposure to mental/physical abuse, poverty, and environmental deprivation during childhood. Genetics also play a role in the development of mental health disorders.
Awareness and prevention are pertinent for risk reduction when it comes to mental health crises. Increasing the global dialogue about conditions like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, grief, Bipolar, and Schizophrenia will help increase knowledge and decrease the stigma. Everyone deserves the right to access mental health services, such as behavioral health counseling and psychiatric services.
Promotion and prevention can focus on many different areas, but three targets include: promoting mental health in children, prevention of suicide, and promoting a healthy work environment. School-based programs focus on interventions for bullying and on-site counseling. Suicide prevention includes 24/7 access to hotlines, inpatient facilities, and outpatient therapy services. A positive workplace environment continues to be of utmost importance, regardless of the occupation. Although some jobs are associated with higher rates of suicide, a healthy work environment is closely linked to an overall sense of well-being.
It is everyone’s job to protect and promote our basic human right to mental health. More information can be found on the World Health Organization’s website.
World Health Organization. (2023). Our minds, our rights: World mental health day 2023. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2023