October 10th is World Mental Health Day 2016
According to the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th each year “…with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.”
Also, the day offers “…an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”
This year, the theme of World Mental Health Day is psychological first aid, which includes both psychological and social support. Activities and efforts will focus on initial basic support provided by persons in a helping role, including health professionals, teachers community workers, law enforcement, etc.
However, psychological first aid, just like physical first aid, is not always enough. It is not just an initial effort to provide support to persons in acute distress, but also a first step to engaging long-term support for those who need continued or advanced mental health and social services.
Approaching The Problem
According to some estimates, in the U.S., as many as 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental disorder each year. That’s the equivalent of around 58 million adults. So if mental illness is so common, why do we still treat individuals as outliers, less deserving of treatment than those with physical illnesses?
Among the goals of World Mental Health Day to end the stigma that exists for those suffering from mental illness. In fact, the more someone feels stigmatized, the less likely they will seek support or treatment. Talking about mental illness as a legitimate health concern can help reduce the stigmatization that suffers encounter, and ultimately lead to more people getting the treatment they require.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology