World Mental Health Day 2023: Theme, History, Significance And All About The Day
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is an annual observance held on the 10th of October, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining good mental health and implementing measures to protect and improve mental well-being. The day is marked by various activities such as seminars, workshops, events, and conferences worldwide, aimed at educating individuals about mental health issues and strategies for managing and preventing them.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that “one in eight people globally are living with mental health conditions, with an increasing number of adolescents and young people being affected.”
Despite the commonality of mental health problems in today’s society, stigma still surrounds this health condition. Mental health patients often face discrimination and a denial of their basic human rights. World Mental Health Day serves as a platform to dispel myths, stigma, exclusion, and discrimination associated with mental health conditions. A primary goal of observing this day is to make mental healthcare accessible to people worldwide.
World Mental Health Day 2023: Theme
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 is “Mental health is a universal human right.” This theme aims to enhance knowledge, raise awareness, and promote actions that uphold everyone’s mental health as a universal human right, according to WHO.
World Mental Health Day: History
The concept of dedicating a day to mental health awareness was initially suggested during the 1992 World Federation for Mental Health Congress in Cape Town, South Africa. Following the approval of this proposal, the first-ever Mental Health Day was celebrated on 10th October 1992.
World Mental Health Day also commemorates the establishment of the World Federation for Mental Health in 1948. This organization plays a pivotal role in promoting mental health globally and advocating for the rights of individuals with mental health conditions.
World Mental Health Day: Significance and Why Celebrate This Day?
The significance of observing World Mental Health Day is extensive. However, some primary reasons for celebrating this day include:
1. Raising awareness among people about various mental health conditions and their management.
2. Reducing stigma, myths, and misconceptions associated with mental health.
3. Encouraging individuals to seek help for their mental health issues instead of feeling anxious or apprehensive.
4. Educating people about various ways to safeguard mental health, emphasizing its importance akin to overall physical health, thereby discouraging neglect of mental health issues.
5. Promoting inclusion and protecting the rights of individuals with mental illnesses.
6. Encouraging individuals with mental health problems to seek assistance from mental health professionals, family, friends, or anyone without fear or shame.
The overarching objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise global awareness about mental health issues and mobilize efforts to support mental health. This day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health matters to discuss their work and outline necessary steps to make mental healthcare a reality for people worldwide, as reported by WHO.