This year’s World Mental Health Day will be on Sunday, October 10, 2021, with the theme “mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.”
Every year, Mental Health Day is used to raise mental health care awareness globally. The annual activity was initially started in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health. The goal was to promote mental health advocacy and educate the public to reduce stigma and discrimination relating to mental health. Since then, the 10th of October became the official World Mental Health Day.
The campaign slogan this year, “mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality” is to reflect the major impacts COVID-19 has had on people’s mental health. For more than 18 months, the pandemic has affected everyone in some capacity. People who work on the frontlines, health care providers, students, people living alone and anyone who has pre-existing mental health conditions were affected the most in the past year and a half. Every year, World Health Organization aims to provide resources and services in support of mental health care. This pandemic alone has caused significant disruption to these services. Mental health care workers like psychotherapists had to switch to online, which doesn’t sound bad at first except when you consider the fact that financial stress among vulnerable populations made therapy inaccessible. Other than that, supervised drug consumption sites had to reduce their capacity to ensure safe distancing. In Ottawa, it was reported that drug use and overdoses have rapidly increased since March of last year. Several provinces in Canada also saw an increase in drug and alcohol use as a way to cope with high stress. Lockdowns and curfews made vulnerable communities at higher risk.
Fortunately, during the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world acknowledged the necessity to increase the quality of mental health services in their countries. This year’s World Mental Health Day will be used to push world leaders to make quality mental health care a reality. This will give them opportunities to talk about the steps they are taking to heighten the quality of mental health care and the goals they are willing to take to make this into reality.
WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action plan 2013-2030 is now available to download on their site. During this year’s campaign, WHO will also release new resource materials and testimonies on their website, and in addition to this, they will host live conversations with experts and influencers regarding their journey with mental health. All of this information and details are available to view on WHO’S website.
You can participate in this year’s World Mental Health Day by reading the campaign materials provided by WHO, researching about mental health crises that surround your community and also by simply talking about your own experiences with mental health. The conversation starts with you. Share your journey by using the hashtag #WorldMentalHealthDay online this Sunday, October 10, 2021.
Published by HOLR Magazine.