#Trigger warning: mention of suicide, substance abuse and mental illness.
World Mental Health Day- 10th October– is an annual global initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health, which aims to raise public awareness of mental health issues around the world. The Day provides opportunity for organisations and individuals to mobilize attainments in favour of mental health, such as education, early intervention and de-stigmatization of seeking treatment.
Each year the World Federation for Mental Health sets an international theme for the day, which focuses on facets of mental health, and countries and organisations can further modify them to fit their own mental health agendas. In the past few years, they’ve focused on dignity in mental health, psychological fist aid, and mental health in the workplace. This year the theme is ‘young people and mental health in a changing world’.
Mental health is defined as a state of complete emotional well-being in which an individual is able to cope with the normal stressors of life, can function productively in their social environment and fulfill their full potential. Adolescence and the early years of adulthood can be daunting and full of apprehension, as they’re periods of change and development. Many change schools, leave home, and start university or a new job. Moreover, in this day and age young people are more vocal than ever; constantly battling the effects of human rights violations, segregation and discrimination, violence in the home, schools and businesses, experiencing cyber-crime and adhering to social pressures for behavioural dysfunctions, such as substance abuse. Due to the exerting burdens from the highly competitive job market and social relationships, young people are more prone to loneliness, isolation and mental illness.
The World Health Organisation informs that almost half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. Neuropsychiatric disorders are among the leading causes of worldwide disability in young people. Yet, regions of the world with the highest percentage of population under the age of 19 have the poorest level of mental health resources. Most low- and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people. Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.
There are indications that for each young adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. Mood disorders and anxiety disorders also have the highest prevalence out of all mental disorders and problems. This has a profound impact on the lives of millions of people and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day.
An ill-informed, highly stigmatized and damaging attitude among some people exists around mental health that can make it difficult for some to seek help. It is estimated that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own, or dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.
Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness that such issues cannot be ignored and the stigma surrounding mental health is damaging to society and our collective future. Schools, non-for-profit foundations and human rights organisations dedicate this day to building mental resilience among youth, to prevent the onset of mental illness, and help those that are affected to recover.
It’s essential that governments and the health sector invest in comprehensive, integrated and evidence-based programmes for the mental health of young people.
About 70% of those experiencing mental health issues experience social exclusion. By allowing people to be open and honest with their struggles, we create a safe environment for everyone to be themselves and utilize their capacities beyond how stigma characterizes them. We all have to accept the challenges of a changing world and learn how to help those affected in order to build a stronger and healthier society. As individuals we can dedicate time to our loved ones, be more understanding and kind. Take a moment to listen and let’s spread positivity today!
If you or anyone you know struggle with mental health problems, please seek help in whichever way you’re comfortable with. There is always somebody who cares.
Edited by: Prats Raul
https://ebpcooh.org.uk/world-mental-health-day-2016/ (Featured Image)