If you’ve logged onto any of your social media feeds today, you may have seen at least one post or hashtag about how it’s World Mental Health Day. First established in 1992, October 10th helps gives people around the world the opportunity to spread awareness about mental illness, whether it be through their own personal stories or making resources more readily available. There have been themes since 1996, including “Depression: A Global Crisis,” “Mental Health in the Workplace,” and “Mental Health and Human Rights.”
This year’s theme is “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.” As the World Health Organization describes, things are rapidly changing during adolescence, and added pressures, technology, and humanitarian crises can all have extreme effects on young people.
Since today’s goal is to discuss how mental health affects people globally, here are a few recently published articles for World Mental Health Day from international sites addressing what’s being done in different countries:
Liberia: This weekend, 19 child and adolescent mental health clinicians graduated from the Carter Center Mental Health Program in Liberia in an effort to begin integrating mental health support into the larger healthcare system. The speakers emphasized throughout the ceremony about the onset of mental illness (one even described it as the “pandemic of the 21st century”), and called on the Liberian government to use more of its budget to mental health services.
Australia: In its first round of announcements in government budget spending, Australia plans on focusing on eating disorders and mental illness in youths and Indigenous people. According to Australia’s health minister, more than 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25, and eating disorders can have one of the highest mortality rates among psychiatric illnesses. Indigenous people are also incredibly at risk of mental illness and suicide. The article also suggests that mental illness has become the leading cause of premature death in Australians and is the primary reason Australians visit their general practitioner.
India: citiesRISE, an organization to help improve mental health among youths living in cities, chose Chennai as one of five cities to implement a system addressing the issue. As the article discusses, almost one in five of people living in Chennai are between the ages of 15 and 29, and has the second highest rate of suicide in the country. There are several reasons listed as potential causes for mental illness, including but not limited to caste and religious discrimination, gender bias and pressure not to have friends of the opposite sex, and academic pressure.
People have the opportunity to use today to share whatever they want or are comfortable with about mental health. Whether that’s by storytelling or spreading information, the conversation about mental illness continues to become more mainstream.
Have you seen any posts about World Mental Health Day? How do you think people can share information and educate others about mental health?