World Mental Health Day is celebrated on October 10, creating awareness and lessening stigma about mental health disorders, as well as celebrating those who are fighting for better days. The theme for World Mental Health Day of 2022 is “Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority.”
Mental health has come a long way since the early nineties when the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) officially established this day as World Mental Health Day.
Our language describing mental health has improved, and our understanding and support have increased. While we’ve learned a lot, there’s still much more we can do to evolve as a society.
The History Behind World Mental Health Day
In 1992, the World Federation of Mental Health’s deputy secretary-general Richard Hunter created World Mental Health Day. They didn’t have a precise objective other than creating a safe societal place for people with mental health issues. It was an uphill climb to change many harmful and dangerous habits that made a difficult situation worse for these people.
Around the world, many mental health issues aren’t correctly treated. Public funding was a struggle for treatment in many countries, and there was an overall ignorance regarding mental health. The World Federation of Mental Health knew they needed to act on a global scale to solve a global crisis.
For the first three years, a two-hour telecast for World Mental Health Day was aired across the globe through the U.S. information agency satellite. The studio was in Tallahassee, Florida, and it became a valuable way to get its message out to the world. They had participation from Chile, England, Australia, and Zambia, while Geneva, Atlanta, and Mexico City pre-taped segments for the broadcast.
The first World Mental Health Day theme was “Improving the Quality of Mental Health Services Throughout the World” in 1994. Twenty-seven countries sent feedback reports after the campaign, and there were national campaigns in Australia and England. Continuing this momentum, WFMH board members across the globe arranged events for the day as its popularity grew among government departments, organizations, and civilians.
Since 1995, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has arranged the translation of the planning kit material into Spanish, French, Russian, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. As the years passed, more countries got involved and consequently, so did civilians as the perception of mental health became more synonymous with human rights.
The themes for World Mental Health Day expanded along with the times. Women, children, health, work, trauma, suicide, and so much more have become a part of the conversation.
How to Support World Mental Health Day
Do group therapy at work
Register for a group therapy workshop at your place of work. This allows you and your coworkers to express themselves in a safe environment. We tend to think that pushing through and carrying on is the best way, but issues can arise unexpectedly if they aren’t adequately dealt with.
You can make many changes to your life that can continue beyond World Mental Health Day. Some options include developing a regular sleep routine, adjusting your diet to healthier options, taking lunch breaks, and going on long walks. The point of self-care is to understand your specific needs. Please find time to ask yourself what you want and go for it.
Follow the yearly theme
Each year, there’s a new theme; even if it doesn’t directly involve your struggles, you can still learn from it. Spend some time and research the subject. Awareness extends beyond yourself and could provide the proper tools to understand others better.
Why Is World Mental Health Day Valuable?
Identify the problem
The idea of the mind is an abstract concept, and World Mental Health Day allows us to focus on our thoughts. We keep evolving beyond outdated perceptions and lessening mental health stigma so we can properly diagnose it and care for ourselves. The battle becomes more manageable with the burden and fear removed from mental health issues.
Share what you’re going through
This day reminds you that you’re not alone, whatever you’re going through. Too often, we think we’re the only ones facing hard times. It’s uplifting to know that other people have gone through it and made it to the other end. It reminds you that you can overcome your pain. Share your thoughts and pain with your loved ones, in a safe place, or with a specialist.
Receive proper treatment
As our understanding of mental health grows, so does our ability to seek proper treatment. With the right therapist and medication, if needed, you can improve your mental health. The more accepting we are, and the more funding is put into research and mental healthcare, the more significant the global impact.
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