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World Mental Health Day

Theme: Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide.

World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on October 10 1992 at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Up until 1994 the day had no specific theme other than general promoting mental health advocacy and educating the public.

In 1994 World Mental Health Day was celebrated with a theme for the first time at the suggestion of then Secretary General Eugene Brody. The theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services throughout the World.”

World Mental Health Day is supported by WHO through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also supports with developing technical and communication material.

World Mental Health Day themes

Year Theme
2019 Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
2018 Young people and mental health in a changing world
2017 Mental health in the workplace
2016 Psychological First Aid
2015 Dignity in Mental Health
2014 Living with Schizophrenia
2013 Mental health and older adults
2012 Depression: A Global Crisis
2011 The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health
2010 Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses
2009 Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
2008 Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy and Action
2007 Mental Health in A Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity
2006 Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & Suicide
2005 Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span
2004 The Relationship Between Physical & Mental Health: co-occurring disorders
2003 Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Children & Adolescents
2002 The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children & Adolescents
2000-01 Mental Health and Work
1999 Mental Health and Aging
1998 Mental Health and Human Rights
1997 Children and Mental Health
1996 Women and Mental Health

World Mental Health Day 2019 Theme:Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention.

Suicide: What are the primary reasons that drive young people to suicide?

Numerous reasons lead an individual, especially a young person to commit suicide and these include failure in studies, childhood trauma, family disharmony, violence, sexual abuse, cyberbullying and bullying.

However, what is more important is suicide prevention and what can be done towards it. The issue deserves increasing attention especially with the rise in other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

What can be done to prevent suicide?

Suicides are preventable, as the victims often do not want to end their lives, just the momentary pain in their lives. If at such times, they have someone to speak to or fall back upon, then it can be prevented. What is important is to reach out at such times and call out for help.

The primary focus should be on creating awareness about mental health and what can be done to prevent it at the national, community as well as individual level. Timely intervention is the first step to help those dealing with mental illness.

There is also a need for more strategic policies to prevent suicide and promote mental health. Here, social media and other forms of media play a big role, as they reach out to a large number of people within seconds.

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