World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2019

What is the aim of the World Mental Health Day?

The World Health Organisation started World Mental Health Day in 1992 as a way to raise awareness of mental health issues. Countries around the world celebrate World Mental Health day by discussing a particular theme released by the WHO for that year. The World Mental Health day aims to challenge negative perceptions around mental illness - promoting awareness of pressing mental health issues, encouraging discussion and promoting destigmatisation.

What is the focus of 2019's World Mental Health Day?

The focus for the World Mental Health Day of 2019 is suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. This year, the slogan for WMHD is ‘40 seconds of action’ to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage people to spend just 40 seconds doing something to reduce stigma around discussing suicide.

The ‘40 seconds of action’ campaign acknowledges the scale of suicide around the world and provides an opportunity to let people who struggling know they are not alone.

When is World Mental Health Day?

The World Mental Health Day is held on October 10th every year, since 1992. Upcoming dates are:

2019 Thu 10 Oct World Mental Health Day
2020 Sat 10 Oct World Mental Health Day
2021 Sun 10 Oct World Mental Health Day
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Who organises the World Mental Health Day?

The World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, but supported by many other institutions, companies and individuals around the world.

This year, the WHO is also supported by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health.

What can you do to support the World Mental Health Day?

You can take any action for World Mental Health Day regardless of how big or small or public or private. Perhaps you can reach out to someone who is struggling, or check in on someone you know that struggled in the past. You can post the World Mental Health Day hashtag: #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #40seconds

However, you may want to go bigger, and consider petitions to your local authorities about particular mental health initiatives and policies you would like to see, or a public video promoting awareness.

Here are some ideas:

  • If you are struggling, spend 40 seconds initiating a discussion with a trustworthy friend to chat about how you’re doing.
  • Spend 40 seconds checking in on a friend who has lost someone to suicide
  • If you have some sort of media platform, dedicate a post or story to the ‘40 second’ slogan, remembering to use the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay and #40seconds.
  • Make a 40 second video for your local authorities or politicians calling for action on suicide prevention
  • If you happen to be an aforementioned local authority or politician, record a 40-second message of awareness and resources available in your area. More ideas can be found on the WHO website.

What can your company do to support the World Mental Health Day?

If you are an employer or manager, on World Mental Health Day take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.

You may also wish to take a preventative approach, and invest in mental health strategies in your workplace to support employee resilience. This can be a great opportunity to increase team solidarity and foster a culture of mental health proactivity.

Talk to your supervisor or, if you’re a supervisor, check out workshops in your area.

What can your school do to support the World Mental Health Day?

Some ideas:

  • Hold (or ask a teacher or principal to hold) a seminar on suicide, with professionals discussing facts and prevention. You could also incorporate mental health education into existing curriculum, like examining how OECD countries address mental health.
  • Have the whole school participate in 40 seconds of silence to raise awareness.
  • Encourage kids to spend 40 seconds reaching out to a friend
  • You could also consider investing in preventative strategies to increase resilience in your school

How does Driven support the World Mental Health Day?

There are numerous complex factors that contribute to suicide. Therefore the most important thing is ensuring that all of our actions are geared toward prevention. Driven is committed to the implementation of preventative digital health platforms, with a focus on developing resilience in individuals, schools, coaches & psychologists and organisations.

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