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World Mental Health Day 2019: Date, Theme, History And How It Is Celebrated

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October and it aims to raise awareness and educate people about the mental health problems. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2019 is ‘Focus on suicide prevention’.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), someone loses their life to suicide in every 40 seconds. So, this year the main focus is to raise awareness about the rise in suicide rate around the world and the role that each of us can play to prevent it.

History Of World Mental Health Day

On 10 October 1992, World Mental Health Day was first observed and it was initiated by the World Federation of Mental Health by the then Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. There was no specific theme at first, in general, it promoted mental health advocacy and educated the public on relevant issues.

In 1994, the then Secretary General Eugene Brody decided on a theme which was ‘Improving the quality of mental health services throughout the world’. Within three years, the day had become an important day for government departments, organizations and committed individuals to arrange programs to focus on aspects of mental health care.

In 1995, international events were held broadly which was reported to the World Federation of Mental Health from around the world. Since then, this day is observed globally.

How World Mental Health Day Is Observed

The World Mental Health Day isn’t a one- day event, the preparations go on for months. In some countries, the event goes on for several days or weeks and even months, for example in Australia Mental Health Week is observed. In more than 100 countries, events and programs for World Mental Health Day takes place.

The World Federation Mental Health opened the door and people from all around the world are promoting mental health and creating awareness about the types of mental illness which many aren’t aware of.

List Of Themes Used For World Mental Health Day

  • 1996 Women and Mental Health
  • 1997 Children and Mental Health
  • 1998 Mental Health and Human Rights
  • 1999 Mental Health and Ageing
  • 2000-2001 Mental Health and Work
  • 2002 The Effects of Trauma and Violence on Children & Adolescents
  • 2003 Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Children & Adolescents
  • 2004 The Relationship Between Physical & Mental Health: co-occurring disorders
  • 2005 Mental and Physical Health Across the Life Span
  • 2006 Building Awareness – Reducing Risk: Mental Illness & Suicide
  • 2007 Mental Health in A Changing World: The Impact of Culture and Diversity
  • 2008 Making Mental Health a Global Priority: Scaling up Services through Citizen Advocacy and Action
  • 2009 Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health
  • 2010 Mental Health and Chronic Physical Illnesses
  • 2011 The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health
  • 2012 Depression: A Global Crisis
  • 2013 Mental Health and Older Adults
  • 2014 Living with Schizophrenia
  • 2015 Dignity in Mental Health
  • 2016 Psychological and Mental Health First Aid
  • 2017 Mental Health in the Workplace
  • 2018 Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World
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