World mental health day is celebrated globally on the 10th of October each year. The objectives of the day is to raise awareness on mental health issues and mobilise efforts in support of mental health issues. This year`s commemoration comes amidst a global coronavirus pandemic which has affected billions of people worldwide, affecting physical health and disrupting livelihoods. In both cases mental health issues become prominent as the world struggles to adjust to the changes brought about by the new normal. It is therefore of even greater importance that attention be paid to mental health issues at this time.
The theme for this year is :” MENTAL HEALTH FOR ALL: GREATER INVESTMENT – GREATER ACCESS”.
The campaign for this year is focused on the following:
- The Individual – To ensure self-managed mental wellbeing through regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate rest, maintaining a positive state of mind, sharing problems with the right people, avoiding negative influences such as peer pressure, maintaining reduced stress levels by engaging in activities and hobbies that reduce stress.
- Family and Community – Avoiding stigma, providing a supportive and safe environment for those with mental health issues. Assisting in early identification of mental issues and seeking help promptly.
- Nationally – Investing more in comprehensive care that is accessible at the nearest health facility.
- Policy / Legal issues – Development and implementation of sound policies on mental health promotion and support within schools, workplaces and nationally.
There is no health without mental health, and yet mental health has only recently started receiving global attention and increased budgetary consideration by organisations and governments world over. A gap exists between demand for mental health services and supply, as relatively few people world over have access to quality services. This year`s theme seeks to promote further investments by all stakeholders so as to ensure adequate, quality mental health services are readily available at the nearest health facility to all who need them.
Image credit: World Federation For Mental Health