What is the WMH Day? Theme for the year.
Today is a huge day for the entire world! A day to celebrate, a day to be aware and make others aware of a subject so close to us and our lives- Mental Health. Today is World Mental Health Day (WMHDay)!
All said and done, truly celebrating WMHDay would be to understand the objectives and contribute what we can to make our life and the lives around us brighter.
So, let’s understand what is this day all about.
October 10th- Mental Health Over Everything!
The World Health Organization came up with this brilliant initiative of dedicating October 10th to mental well-being around the globe. And thus the World Mental Health Day has been observed with the objective of raising awareness of mental health issues, battling social stigma and mobilising efforts towards greater support for mental wellness.
Each year the WHMHDay has a particular theme that revolves around a vital aspect of mental health that needs attention and awareness. In the past the themes have been: Mental Health in the workplace, Dignity in mental health, psychological first aid, living with schizophrenia and mental health in older adults and so on.
This year’s theme is an aspect that has gained prominence in recent times, revolves around the age group that constitutes majority of the world population, yet needs lot more clarity in understanding. Guessed what it is yet?
The theme for WHMHDay 2018 is Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World!
Significance of the Theme
To begin with a key fact: Half of all mental conditions start by the age of 14 with many of them left undetected and untreated.
Adolescence (10-19 years) is a unique and formative period of our lives. It is in this phase where most of the changes like moving from school to university, making new friends and forming new relationships happen. It is where the adolescents discover more about themselves and try to adapt to constantly changing surroundings, to peer pressure and more. While some are comfortable and even excited with it, for many this phase becomes trying and stressful, paving way for poor mental health conditions.
The sudden extensive boom in usage of online technology which has its own benefits but your life is under the public eye almost every minute, due to which fear of judgement is on the rise. For those teenagers living in fragile areas experiencing humanitarian crisis, violence, multiple social and physical changes, abuse are much more vulnerable to mental illnesses.
Statistics say that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds and globally depression is among the major causes of illness among the youth. It is estimated that 10-20% experience mental health conditions worldwide and more than half of them remain underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Adolescence is an extremely crucial period where positive behaviour, good interpersonal relationships, mental resilience and other vital life-skills are to be cultivated. Untreated mental health conditions can not only impact their youth but also impair them physically and emotionally during adulthood.
Adolescents who do not receive mental health-care are particularly vulnerable and fragile to social exclusion and discrimination, social stigma and human-rights violations.
It is thus highly imperative to up the efforts being taken to improve global mental health amongst the youth. And that is where this theme comes from.
What Has Been Going Great for Youth Mental Health?
In recent times, the importance of building mental strength in the youth from their early years itself, has been recognized and worked towards. Global media and social media have initiated various campaigns which allow youngsters to come out and talk about their mental health conditions, to break the stigma surrounding the subject. While this is only the beginning, the positive part is change is happening.
Evidence is also mounting up showing how protecting and promoting adolescent mental health is not just beneficial for them on a short-term and long-term basis but also for society as a whole because healthy young adults make greater contributions to the well-being of the community around them.
What More Can Be Done?
Prevention always begins with early understanding the early warning symptoms of mental health conditions. This is where influential figures like parents and teachers can play a vital role by helping build life-skills in the adolescents to help them cope with day-to-day challenges at home and school.
Psycho-social support should be provided at schools and colleges, by setting up easily approachable counselling bodies and also conducting training sessions in the community for mental health workers which will enable them to serve and help people live a complete and fulfilling life.
The Government should link their investments in the mental health sector to programmes that help raise awareness among the youth of ways to take greater care of their mental health, of how to help their peers and make parents and mentor-figures aware of how they can support their friends, children and students
What is Trijog up to this WMHDay?
While Trijog’s services itself provide both counselling/therapy and career guidance to the youth, we are celebrating not just a day, but October 2018 as World Mental Health Month! We have with us Jova Ferryra- Creator of The Artidote- an online storytelling platform for mental health with a followership of 3.5M. He along with Arushi will be going to 6 cities in India and spark positive conversations around mental health with the “Artidote Moments.”
The first 3 moments in Mumbai went amazingly well and Jova and Arushi are now coming to Pune! Keep following our digital campaign for more exciting information!