World Mental Health Day (WMHD), celebrated annually on 10 October, is organised by the World Federation for Mental Health and endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The event represents a global commitment to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. This year's theme is "Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority".
Close to one billion of the world population are living with mental illness and the majority have no access to care with many low-, and medium-income countries care coming from family members or NGO’s (nongovernmental organisations). The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted that our health systems are not well equipped to deal with crisis and emerging illnesses and this is only worsening as we face the long-term repercussions of the psychological impact of the pandemic.
However, the global community is not just reeling under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but also from ongoing wars, displacement, and the climate emergency, all of which have adversely impacted the well-being of the world's citizens. Now more than ever, it is essential that we work together to lessen the long-standing inequities in mental health globally and strive to make mental health care a reality for all.
World Psychiatric Association is committed to continue raising an awareness about mental health and its impact on well-being. We urge all governmental and nongovernmental mental health organisations and agencies to work in concert with elected and appointed public officials to apply universal preventive measures that reduce the risk of mental illness, including promotion of social inclusion policies, support and direct investment for vulnerable populations and investment in communities and youth in particular; to improve the social determinants of health; and to address mental health stigma and discrimination that very often serve as barriers for people seeking services and support available to them.
There will be many activities taking place around and on the 10th October, one of which is a webinar organised by some of our Greek member societies and will include presentations by Prof. Afzal Javed (current WPA President), Prof. Juan Mezzich (former WPA President), Danuta Wasserman (current WPA President-Elect) and Prof. Norman Sartorius (former WPA President) focused around this year's WMHD's theme.
The webinar will take place on the 6th October 2022 at 11:00 –13:00 (Athens time) and more information can be found here.
The Association for Community Mental Health Promotion are hosting a World Mental Health Day Zoom Party. During the party, medical students and senior mental health educators will share their stories about this year's theme and other global mental health topics.
This will take place on the 10th of October at 8:00am CET.
More information about this event can be found here and you can register here. Spaces to the zoom party are extremely limited, but it is also possible to join the live stream on their YouTube channel here.
In addition, the World Health Organisation is hosting the (online) launch of The Lancet Commission on Ending Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health’s report on the 10th October at 12PM CET 11AM BST 10AM GMT. More information and registration can be found here.
Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, President, World Psychiatric Association